Christopher Zraunig

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Princeton U.

Grant number

Gr. 10360

Approve Date

April 13, 2022

Project Title

Zraunig, Christopher (Princeton U.) "Queer aging: On the possibilities and constraints of diversity work in German geriatric institutions."

Many seniors live hidden’, reads the headline of a German newspaper from May 2021, pointing to fears LGBTQ+ seniors face when entering a long-term care facility due to anticipated mistreatment, discrimination, and isolation based on sexual minority identification. To attend to such concerns, many German cities have in recent years come up with a range of diversification initiatives that attend to the heteronormativities intrinsic to geriatric spaces ‘ from housing projects for LGBTQ+ elders to sexual diversity trainings in nursing homes. With this ethnographic research project based in Berlin, Germany, I want to ask, ‘how is diversity done in practice in these settings?’ How is geriatric diversification conceptualized by politicians, activists, care workers, and those who embody diversity (i.e. LGBTQ+ seniors)? Beyond the shifting meanings of ‘diversity’ in these contexts and its enacted material effectiveness, I am also intrigued by diversity work’s productiveness: What norms does diversity work re/produce and what does this tell us about modes of recognition by the nation state in late-liberal Germany? What bodies come to matter here? Bringing together several disciplinary and interdisciplinary scholarly strands, my research will be the first ethnographic work evidencing the possibilities and constraints of queer future making in diversity work.