Personal and Professional Encompassment in Organizational Capacity Building

SOS Children’s Villages and Supportive Housing

in The Cambridge Journal of Anthropology
Restricted access

Abstract

This article examines how institutions mobilize the transitive capacity of concepts and categories to articulate and fulfil their professional functions. In my analysis, I draw on the everyday institutional practices of two organizations, SOS Children’s Villages and Supportive Housing, to illustrate how personal and professional domains are intertwined. Through ethnographic vignettes, I argue that organizational capacities to shape the social in the domain of caring work are achieved through the knowledge practices of professionals and experts, as they negotiate the ‘mothering’ and ‘home’. The institutions studied, in fulfilling personal roles for individual clients, ‘step in’ for the absence of other persons. Such person-oriented goals pose challenges to organizational practices and professional values, ultimately straining the capacities of these institutions to sustain themselves.

Contributor Notes

Viktoryia Kalesnikava has an MA in Anthropology from the University of Virginia, and is currently completing a dual degree in Social Work and Public Health from the Virginia Commonwealth University. Her research interests include the epidemiology of chronic disease and psychopathology and the ethnography of policy and social intervention.

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