Christopher Zraunig

Department of Anthropology

Christopher is a doctoral candidate at Princeton Anthropology. His ethnographic research centers around questions of good aging in the queer communities of Berlin, Germany: How do subjects who fail to adhere to heteronormative and ableist norms of successful aging create good later life for themselves and their chosen families? What are the possibilities and pitfalls of efforts towards diversification in geriatric settings by care institutions, and NGOs advocating for inclusion of LGBTQIA and (post-)migrant communities? What value has 'diversity' in such work? How does the increasing recognition by the nation state of LGBTQIA subjects as deserving citizens impact the carescapes of queer seniors?

To answer these questions, Christopher conducted 14 months of ethnographic fieldwork in Berlin with LGBTQIA elders and their formal and informal care settings: nursing homes, intergenerational support networks, gay senior groups, queer housing projects, LGBTQIA service and lobbying agencies, geriatric diversity workers & advisory councils, etc. Christopher complements his ethnography with archival data from Schwules Museum Berlin, expert interviews with politicians, policy makers, and LGBT+ lobbyists, as well as memoirs and literature by queer elders. Christopher’s project has an interdisciplinary approach, engaging in conversations with queer theory, public health/medical anthropology, empirical ethics, critical disability studies, and the anthropology of institutions. 

Christopher's research has been supported by grants from the Wenner-Gren Foundation, the American Ethnological Society, Princeton's Program in Gender and Sexuality Studies, PIIRS, CHW Princeton, and others.