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27-31 August 2019
Poznań, Poland
Europe/Warsaw timezone
programme last update: 23 August 2019
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Contribution Paper

Poznań, Poland - Morasko Kampus, room: 2.100

Husbands elderly caregivers and long-term care. Analytical approaches to care from kinship, geography and the course of life


  • Carlos CHIRINOS

Primary authors


The definition of care has been presented as a challenge for the social sciences and other disciplines. Its analytical complexity and the different social contexts generate a proliferation of meanings, volatile and difficult to grasp. The dual concepts such as care about and care for, show deep limitations placing the focus of the analysis on the feelings and emotions, and on the physical and material care activities, leaving in the background their processual nature. My point is to explain care not as a static notion, but rather as a changing, procedural and relational definition. For this, I will follow the path of other researchers such as Alber and Drotbohm (2015), who propose to rethink care from anthropology based on an interrelated analysis with other lines of study such as work or kinship. The innovative aspect of this proposal is freedom in the adaptation of thematic dimensions, according to the study situations. We cannot pretend that the notion of care is unique and universal, but the opposite, situated and changing in history. In this presentation, I will approach care with a tripartite approach, rethinking it from the approach of kinship, geography, and the course of life. For this, I will draw on ethnographic cases where long-term care by older men is explored towards their ill wives in towns in Spain. In addition, I will try to outline the first analytical approaches on the idea of family care constellations, as an attempt to reflect the multifaceted character of this notion.