Embodied dialogues of care for organizing solidarity collectively: insights from the Greek refugee crisis

The second of Trinity term's R:ETRO - Reputation: Ethics, Trust, and Relationships at Oxford - seminar series.

Emmanouela Mandalaki, Associate Professor of Organizations, NEOMA business School will be the guest speaker for a seminar being hosted by Alan Morrison, Professor of Law and Finance at Saïd Business School, and Rita Mota, International Research Fellow at Saïd Business School and Assistant Professor at ESADE Business School, as part of the R:ETRO seminar series.

In this paper, I draw on feminist theories on embodied ethics to study solidarity initiatives organized during the early days of the refugee crisis, in Greece. Doing so, I offer a feminist understanding of solidarity organizing as inter-corporeally dialogical. Specifically, I draw on Diprose’s ethical theory on inter-corporeal generosity and Butler’s conception of recognition of corporeal vulnerability as the locus of a relational ethics, to discuss how inter-corporeal dialogues of care, affect and generosity between different othered bodies, might contribute to the democratic organizing of solidarity.

I ponder the ethical and epistemological questions I experienced as a researcher in this study, discussing how attentiveness to the dialogic dynamics between the researcher, the researched and the research context might shape a reflexive research attitude in studying vulnerable contexts.

This paper contributes to scholarly debates in organization studies discussing the potentials of dialogic organizing as well as to feminist literature discussions on the organizing of solidarity against forms of precarity reproduced by the neoliberal narrative. 

Keywords: dialogical organizing, solidarity, refugees, care ethics, inter-corporeality, affect, reflexivity