Positions & Possibilities in Volunteering for Transnational Medical Research in Lusaka – Københavns Universitet

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16. august 2016

Positions & Possibilities in Volunteering for Transnational Medical Research in Lusaka

Volunteering as a study subject in transnational medical research is often understood either as a matter of individual motives or structural inequalities. Based on 12 months of fieldwork with study subjects in Lusaka this chapter by Postdoc Birgitte Bruun concludes that volunteering in transnational medical research projects in Lusaka is a pragmatic search for unspecified possibility in “something bigger” for one self and the people one cares for, including new connections and openings that might outlast time-limited projects in a wider landscape of fickle possibilities in interventions. Along the way relations, positions and futures are at stake. As such, volunteering in medical research in Lusaka is better understood with reference to the wider literature on volunteering and voluntary work as an emerging and precarious form of practice in Africa than as a matter of altruism and undue inducement in medical research ethics or of structural inequalities.

Birgitte Bruun: "Positions & Possibilities in Volunteering for Transnational Medical Research in Lusaka" in Volunteer Economies: The Politics and Ethics of Voluntary Labour in Africa. red. / Prince Ruth; Hannah Brown. James Currey, 2016