This article considers how immigrant retention relates to family obligations, drawing a complex portrait of a common family dilemma involving the care of aging kin. The ethnographic life-history approach offers an important perspective on how health and well-being are not simply structured by formal access to institutions of care, but by the socio-cultural, economic and geographic flexibility of families to accommodate their needs. Analysis draws on the interdependant migration histories of a family of six adult sisters originating in Tanzania. In the case of this family, the dilemma surrounding the care of aging parents is not so much caused by migration's disruption of traditional filial obligations. Instead, it is the effect of social pressures stirred in both sending and receiving countries, which frame opportunities for eventual social integration, relocation or sometimes reluctant repatriation. A reflexive approach argues for the active presence of ethnographers in policy debates.
Immigrant Families, Elderly Care, Ethnography and Policy
An Analysis from Two Ethnographic Studies of Midwifery Units in England
Christine McCourt, Juliet Rayment, Susanna Rance and Jane Sandall
This article is based on analysis of a series of ethnographic case studies of midwifery units in England. Midwifery units1 are spaces that were developed to provide more home-like and less medically oriented care for birth that would support physiological processes of labour, women’s comfort and a positive experience of birth for women and their families. They are run by midwives, either on a hospital site alongside an obstetric unit (Alongside Midwifery Unit – AMU) or a freestanding unit away from an obstetric unit (Freestanding Midwifery Unit – FMU). Midwifery units have been designed and intended specifically as locations of wellbeing and although the meaning of the term is used very loosely in public discourse, this claim is supported by a large epidemiological study, which found that they provide safe care for babies while reducing use of medical interventions and with better health outcomes for the women. Our research indicated that midwifery units function as a protected space, one which uses domestic features as metaphors of home in order to promote a sense of wellbeing and to re-normalise concepts of birth, which had become inhabited by medical models and a preoccupation with risk. However, we argue that this protected space has a function for midwives as well as for birthing women. Midwifery units are intended to support midwives’ wellbeing following decades of professional struggles to maintain autonomy, midwife-led care and a professional identity founded on supporting normal, healthy birth. This development, which is focused on place of birth rather than other aspects of maternity care such as continuity, shows potential for restoring wellbeing on individual, professional and community levels, through improving rates of normal physiological birth and improving experiences of providing and receiving care. Nevertheless, this very focus also poses challenges for health service providers attempting to provide a ‘social model of care’ within an institutional context.
Collections Care at the Laboratory of Archaeology
Archaeological repositories are active spaces that preserve the archaeological record for future research and care for the cultural and ancestral heritage of Indigenous communities. Repositories therefore have the potential to be sites of continued collaborative engagement between scholars and communities. The Laboratory of Archaeology (LOA) at the University of British Columbia is a repository that now works with communities to respectfully care for their cultural material, while still remaining committed to research and education. Drawing on interviews with LOA members and my own experience working at the lab, I explore the ways LOA’s practices and policies work to mitigate power asymmetry and facilitate sharing knowledge between communities and scholars.
Forms of Submission and Top-Down Power in Orthodox Ethiopia
Diego Maria Malara and Tom Boylston
The classical sociological literature on Amhara hierarchy describes a society based on open relations of domination and an obsession with top-down power. This article asks how these accounts can be reconciled with the strong ethics of love and care that ground daily life in Amhara. We argue that love and care, like power, are understood in broadly asymmetrical terms rather than as egalitarian forms of relationship. As such, they play into wider discourses of hierarchy, but also serve to blur the distinction between legitimate authority and illegitimate power.
This special forum comprises articles based on papers presented at the session “Baikal Issues under Persistent State Care” at the 2012 Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers and serves as an introduction to the economic, social, and political dimensions of a unique natural object.
Pierre Du Plessis and Sanal Mohan
John Hartigan Jr., Care of the Species: Races of Corn and the Science of Plant Biodiversity. Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press, pp. 376, 2017.
Luisa Steur, Indigenist Mobilization: Confronting Electoral Communism and Precarious Livelihoods in Post-Reform Kerala. New York: Berghahn, pp. 302, 2017.
There are many religious people in Britain at the moment who feel they have been stabbed in the back, then turned around and punched in the face. The attack from behind is because they feel they are pursuing a religious lifestyle that is largely caring and considerate, yet they have become associated with religious extremists whose murderous fanaticism has tainted all people of faith.
A year ago, assessing the health-care situation, Enza Caruso and Nerina
Dirindin wrote: “The year 2007 can only be described as a positive one
for health in terms of planning, given the great number of programs
launched, commissions and councils put in place, and protocols of
agreement signed by the Ministry of Health. Finance within the health
sector was also notable for complying with the health pact and the rigorous
control of public accounts backed up by deficit reduction plans,
which regions under financial warning had to observe scrupulously or
be put under compulsory administration.” The year 2008, however,
began and then continued with a shocking series of health-care mismanagement
cases, including the controversy over the appointment
procedure for general managers and chief medical officers of health-care
providers, the question of controlling health expenses, and the possible
compulsory administration of regions that are unable to meet deficit
Arvind K. Joshi
The aged in India have conventionally enjoyed privileges within the framework of a social economy where the needs of the old remained a moral responsibility of family, kith and kin. However the present changing times have forced a shift in the approach to old age care. The old person finds him- or herself in a sticky situation, in between an insensitive state and the demands of globalization. The present paper situates this problem within the framework of globalization and systematically measures the strategic response of the state to this daunting challenge, with respect to economic security and health care in particular. In the conclusion, the paper argues for a rejection of the conventional welfare approach and it advocates an integrated approach based on a coherent social development perspective within the valuation framework of social quality.
The 2013 Babylution protests and desire for political transformation in postwar Bosnia-Herzegovina
In June 2013, a breakdown in the routine functioning of state bureaucracy sparked the largest and up to that point most significant wave of protests in postwar Bosnia-Herzegovina, named the Bosnian Babylution. The protest centered on the plight of newborn babies who, because of this particular administrative problem, could no longer be issued key documents, even to travel outside the country for life-saving medical care. These events exposed the profound nature of the representational crisis gripping this postwar, postsocialist, and postintervention state that has emerged at the intersection of ethnic hyper-representation and the lived experience of the collapse of biopolitical care. Yet, as this analysis shows, this crisis has also helped unleash new forms of political desire for revolutionary rupture and reconstitution of the postwar political.