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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Caught in the In-between: The Seen and Unseen Forms of Care Among Filipino/Filipino-American Immigrants Navigating Built and Imagined Spaces

  • Author(s): Yutuc, Jenina
  • et al.

Beyond the built space of a hospital, many forms of care often go unseen, unnoticed, and undervalued. This reimagining of care, through the exploration of its different forms beyond health institutions, aims to expand on the definition put forth by Joan Tronto, which defined care broadly through the agencies of bodies, the self, and built and natural environments. This paper advocates for an understanding of care beyond the hospital and the clinic through the lived experiences of Pre-Health UC Berkeley Filipinos and Filipino-Americans in built and imagined spaces. Built spaces are the spaces (i.e the hospital, clinic, medical mission site, and community health center) that are (1) designed by architects, (2) physically built, and (3) lived in. Imagined spaces (linguistic, cultural, memory, in-between, and home) are spaces that are unseen and unbuilt but are fundamentally produced and reproduced in, along with shaping the social relations within built spaces. The main findings suggest that architectural, built spaces of the hospital, community health center, homeland, and cultural center must not only render the unseen forms of care visible. Participants noted that the in-betweenness they experienced played a salient role in their immigrant experience and caring practices as they navigated built and imagined spaces. Through their lived experiences navigating both built and imagined spaces, this study aims to contribute towards forms of care that validate these multi-layered and multi-sited imagined spaces as valued spaces for underrepresented communities to feel seen, represented, and cared for within the “white spatial imaginary” (Lipsitz 2007, 13).

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