The doctoral research is embedded in a fundamental research project funded by the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO-Vlaanderen) that examines the underrepresentation of ethnic-cultural minorities in the blood donor population in European societies (supervisors: Lesley Hustinx, UGent and Pierre Monforte, University of Leicester, UK). While existing research has mainly focused on individual, donor-centered explanations, this study aims to scrutinize the institutional and organizational barriers and exclusion mechanisms that are embedded in the blood collection system itself. The empirical research involves a qualitative comparative case study between Belgium and the United Kingdom, these countries represent different blood collection systems. First, an organizational field analysis will be conducted (document analysis and interviews/focus groups with central policy actors and professionals at the European and country level). Second, the ‘lived experiences’ of selected minority groups will be examined (interviews). Based on a critical evaluation of the European blood collection system, the research ultimately aims to contribute to the more fundamental question whether blood donation by minorities has a transformative capacity what concerns their position in society, both in terms of citizenship as in terms of majority-minority solidarity relationships.
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