Dr. Tabea Scharrer
Tabea Scharrer is Research Partner at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology (Halle, Germany), where she has conducted her post-doctoral research since 2010. Before that she worked as a research assistant at the Zentrum Moderner Orient (ZMO, Berlin) and as Lecturer at the Free University (Berlin, Germany), where she also submitted and defended her PhD thesis in 2011. Tabea Scharrer is interested in social anthropological research about (forced) migration, socio-economic inequality and religion, with a focus on Eastern Africa. She has conducted research in refugee camps in Tanzania, about Islamic missionary movements in Kenya and Tanzania and with Somali migrants in Kenyan urban areas and in several European cities. Her publications include the monograph ‘Narrative islamischer Konversion: Biographische Erzählungen konvertierter Muslime in Ostafrika’ (transcript, 2013) and two co-edited volumes on ‘Middle Classes in Africa’ (Palgrave, 2018) and on ‘Mobile Urbanity. Somali Urban Presence in East Africa’ (Berghahn, 2019). Currently she is co-editing the first German-language handbook about forced migration and refugee studies, which will be published with Nomos in 2022. She is member of the editorial board of Comparative Migration Studies.
- “It Is Better to Do Business in Africa than in Europe” – Socio-Economic Positionings among Business-Minded European Somalis Moving to Kenya, Journal of Immigrant & Refugee Studies,18:3, 270-285 (2020) (https://doi.org/10.1080/15562948.2020.1773009)
- ‘Mobile Urbanity. Somali Presence in Urban East Africa’ (co-edited with Neil Carrier, Berghahn, 2019) (https://www.berghahnbooks.com/title/CarrierMobile)
- ‘Middle Classes in Africa. Changing Lives and Conceptual Challenges’ (co-edited with Lena Kroeker & David O’Kane, Palgrave, 2018) (https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007%2F978-3-319-62148-7)
- ‘“Ambiguous citizens”: Kenyan Somalis and the question of belonging’, Journal of Eastern African Studies, 12:3, 494-513 (2018) (https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/17531055.2018.1483864?journalCode=rjea2)
- ‚Narrative islamischer Konversion. Biographische Erzählungen konvertierter Muslime in Ostafrika‘, (Bielefeld: transcript Verlag, 2013) (https://www.transcript-verlag.de/978-3-8376-2184-6/narrative-islamischer-konversion/)
During my time at the Africa Multiple Cluster of Excellence, I will embark on building a theoretical framework for my second monograph, dealing with social class in the context of forced migration. Being situated within the research section ‚learning‘, my work will contribute to the section’s discussions by exploring the relationship between spatial and social mobility and therefore dissecting the multiple relations in and through which phenomena emerge. In the context of my research with Somali migrants, these multiple relations encompass transnational family networks, various regional migration regimes, as well as the flow of different sorts of capital and their potential conversion in and between the various localities migrants live in. These relations are multi-directional and changes in one locality feed back to the others. The research also helps to outline the heterogeneity of socio-economic positions in a transnational migratory space and the various ways migrants make use and relate to these structures by positioning themselves in world-making processes. Conversations within the section ‘Learning’ on the one hand will explore the role of education as an important factor for socio-economic inequality, on the other hand the section already feature important research about Islamic education, which likewise plays an important role in the lives of many Somali migrants.