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Palgrave Macmillan

Anthropological Perspectives on Care

Work, Kinship, and the Life-Course

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  • © 2015


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About this book

In the course of last two decades, the notion of care has become prominent in the social and cultural sciences. As a result of this proliferation of care in several disciplinary fields, we are observing not only the expansion of its conceptual meaning, but also an increasing imprecision in its usage. A growing amount of literature focuses on the intersection between work, gender, ethnicity, affect, and mobility regimes. In view of this growing field of literature, Anthropological Perspectives on Care looks at the notion of care from an anthropological perspective. Complementing earlier approaches, Alber and Drotbohm argue that an interpretation of care in relation to three different concepts, namely work, kinship and the life-course, will facilitate empirical and conceptual distinctions between the different activities that are labeled as care.

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Table of contents (10 chapters)

  1. Introduction


"This is an extremely important and timely volume that illuminates the very pressing and pertinent issue of 'care'. The book presents rich ethnographic examples, which the editors have astutely organised around themes of labour, kinship, gender, and generation. It is a watershed publication: consolidating relevant concepts and signposting future directions. A 'must read', not only for anthropologists but also for other social scientists and practitioners interested in the multidimensional aspects of care." - Jeanette Edwards, Professor of Social Anthropology, University of Manchester, UK, author of Born and Bred: Idioms of Kinship and New Reproductive Technologies in England (2000)

"As the study of care becomes a more important academic pursuit, it is essential that everyone interested in the topic recognize how diverse concrete care practices are. This welcome volume brings compelling accounts by anthropologists that will be useful to everyone who is reflecting on the nature of care." - Joan C. Tronto, Professor, University of Minnesota, USA, and author of Moral Boundaries: A Political Argument for an Ethic of Care (1993) and Caring Democracy: Markets, Equality and Justice (2013)

"A critical intervention in the study of care by making rigorous analytic distinctions between care in the field of work, kinship, and across the life-course. By bringing them into one conversation, Anthropological Perspectives on Care provides much needed conceptual clarity to a term that has been used in incommensurable ways. This achievement, together with their transnational focus, re-centers care as a concept of contemporary global political importance." - Miriam Ticktin, Associate Professor of Anthropology and Co-Director of the Zolberg Institute on Migration and Mobility, The New School for Social Research, USA, and author of Casualties of Care: Immigration and the Politics of Humanitarianism in France (2011)

About the authors

Cati Coe, Rutgers Universit, USA Pamela Feldman-Savelsberg, Carleton College, USA Tabea Häberlein, Bayreuth University, Germany Jessaca Leinaweaver, Brown University, USA Maria Lidola, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany Claudia Liebelt, University of Bayreuth, Germany Anna Katharina Skornia, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany Tatjana Thelen, University of Vienna, Austria

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