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Egenis · Events

Egenis seminar with Dr Teodora Manea, 'Metaphors of Medical Migration: descriptive and normative perspectives'

Seminar   27.02.2012






Dr Teodora Manea, Visiting Researcher at University of Exeter, Department of Sociology and Philosophy

Organised by



University of Exeter,Egenis,Byrne House,St Germans Road,Exeter, EX4 4PJ

Room no: GF7

Event details

Time: 3:00 - 4:30pm


Medical migration is a particular case of migration where the cultural and social aspects are structuring the public perception of this phenomenon. The reason for that is that the doctors are regarded as an important social resource, so that members of the public, as health consumers, raise moral concerns about those doctors’ social responsibility and their right to leave the country. On the other hand, however, it seems obvious that they should be free (according to the principle of autonomy and liberty) to decide where to work and live, especially if the working conditions in the native country are less than ideal. There is also a third agent to be considered, namely the countries and the agencies recruiting medical personnel.

The articles and academic texts on this topic use metaphors to describe the specialists (brain drain), the countries (host countries) or the recruitment process (poaching). We isolated some of the most frequent and powerful metaphors and show how the aesthetic or descriptive role of them is complemented by very strong normative aspects.

In order to classify the metaphors and to understand how they work, we used the classical theory of metaphors by Lakoff and Johnson (Lakoff, Johnson 1980). For a better understanding of the way the metaphors are created and used we have researched a considerable number of scientific articles, books and reports on migration in four languages: English, Romanian, French and German.

I will consider two main questions:1. Are the metaphors cultural or language related or are they transgressing language boundaries and are addressing general “feelings” connected to the migration process?2. Which normative aspect is hidden behind every metaphorical „description”?

Further details