By Alber, Drotbohm, Erdmute Alber, Heike Drotbohm
Drawing on ethnographic case experiences from various international parts, this e-book explores the inspiration of care from an anthropological standpoint.
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Additional info for Anthropological Perspectives on Care: Work, Kinship, and the Life-Course
Thus, in a recent edited volume on social security and care in postsocialist Eastern Europe, Rosie Read and Tatjana Thelen conceptualize care “as a dimension of social security, which consists of practices that address socially constructed needs that have a giving and a receiving side” (2007: 7). In Eastern Europe, the authors demonstrate, care work embedded in kinship, domestic domains, and circles of personalized relationships became increasingly important during times of crises in the late socialist period.
The Philippines has one of the highest birth rates in Asia, with life expectancy increasing; as such, there is great pressure on the middle generation to provide care and support. Moreover, the costs of raising children in the Philippines have increased, with more parents aspiring to supply children with consumer goods and even poorer parents being determined to provide their children with some form of higher education—a phenomenon Croll calls “conspicuous investment” in children (2006: 479). This means increased competition between generations, as the needs of both the younger and older generations increase.
This exchange became most clear in the standard size, large balikbayan boxes (literally repatriate boxes) sent home for migrants by freight 34 Anthropological Perspectives on Care forwarders duty free. Typically, these boxes contained gifts and souvenirs of little economic value, but they always spoke of kinship obligations and changing social relations between the senders and the recipients. While the boxes were always sent to entire households, typically migrants’ families of origin or procreation, rather than individual persons, they also contained personal gifts, selected for speciﬁc signiﬁcant others—birthday or Christmas presents, the fulﬁllment of requests, or gifts intended to make up with someone.
Anthropological Perspectives on Care: Work, Kinship, and the Life-Course by Alber, Drotbohm, Erdmute Alber, Heike Drotbohm