UPWEB - The Welfare-Bricolage Project

Associates: Dr. Florence Samkange-Zeeb; Dr. Silja Samerski
Duration: 3 years
Financing: funded by the German Research Fund (DFG) in the framework of the research programme „Welfare State Futures“ of the European research funding network NORFACE

The Welfare-Bricolage Project (UPWEB – Understanding the practice and developing the concept of welfare bricolage) investigates how residents of superdiverse neighbourhoods access health services. The increasing social and cultural diversity of urban areas calls for the development of new concepts of healthcare provision. The concept of welfare-bricolage refers to the practice by which individuals combine formal, informal, secular and religious, local, regional and transnational as well as web-based health services from the public, private and third sectors in order to meet their health needs. In addition to quantifiable dimensions, the project’s focus lies on the qualitative factors influencing the health system’s quality, approachability and effectiveness. The project will take the perspectives of both users and providers of health services into account.

UPWEB is an interdisciplinary, comparative, cross-sectional study that is being carried out in four European cities: Birmingham, Bremen, Lisbon and Uppsala. Research will be conducted in one deprived and one gentrified neighbourhood of each of the cities. The research design realizes a sequential logic in four consecutive steps: To begin with, we will compile profiles of each of the respective neighbourhoods and their health care services through a mix of methods such as observations, interviews with residents and healthcare providers, as well as the evaluation and synthesis of statistical data. In a second phase, we will generate 20 case studies of residents’ welfare-bricolage practices in each neighbourhood through participant observation and in-depth interviews. In addition, we will generate ten case studies of different health care providers per neighbourhood. Based on the information gathered from the case studies, first models of welfare-bricolage will be developed. These will be further investigated and tested in a quantitative survey with about 1200 residents in each city.

As an element of collaborative knowledge production, we will hire five residents in each neighbourhood and train them as community researchers. Their language skills and local knowledge will not only ease making contact to population groups which we otherwise would not be able to reach, but also provide us with an insider perspective of the neighbourhoods.The UPWEB project in Germany is lead by Prof. Dr. Michi Knecht of the Department of Anthropology and Cultural Research, University of Bremen, in collaboration with Professor Hajo Zeeb and Dr. Tilman Brand from the Leibniz Institute for Prevention Research and Epidemiology – BIPS. Research is undertaken by public health specialist Dr. Florence Samkange-Zeeb and by social and cultural anthropologist Dr. Martin Gruber. The project, which will run over three years and is funded by the German Research Fund (DFG) in the framework of the research programme „Welfare State Futures“ of the European research funding network NORFACE.

UPWEB Flyer: You can download our flyer here.

Projekt-Handy: 0152-18165508
Projekt Email: upweb[at]uni-bremen.de

Prof. Dr. Michi Knecht
Institut für Ethnologie und Kulturwissenschaft (IFEK)
Universität Bremen
Enrique-Schmidt-Straße 7
28359 Bremen

Dr. Florence Samkange-Zeeb
Telefon: 0421-218 67642

Dr. Silja Samerski
Telefon: 0421-218 67646