Beyond Bounded Selves and Places: The Relational Making of Vulnerability and Security
This essay elaborates how an imbalanced reciprocity between inhabitants of places of relative safety and places of greater precarity results from pursuing security on the basis of a reactive fear of vulnerability. It analyzes a range of features that shape the complex forms that vulnerability takes with a particular focus on how the constitution of places as rhetorically and corporeally secure or not renders different groups of people secure and/or subject to heightened exposure to harm. This analysis suggests that vulnerability is better conceived as a process than a quality, mediating between conceptions of vulnerability as a universal condition and as a highly specific empirical condition. Finally, by departing from the negative, reactive view of vulnerability that animates the supposition of the boundedness of selves and places, an alternative conception of security that neither equates it with invulnerability nor opposes it to vulnerability can be developed.
Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)
Gilson. (2018). Beyond Bounded Selves and Places: The Relational Making of Vulnerability and Security. JBSP. Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology, 49(3), 229–242. https://doi.org/10.1080/00071773.2018.1434972