By Alber, Drotbohm, Erdmute Alber, Heike Drotbohm
Drawing on ethnographic case reviews from assorted international components, this publication explores the inspiration of care from an anthropological viewpoint.
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Extra resources for Anthropological Perspectives on Care: Work, Kinship, and the Life-Course
As impossible as it is, then, to draw a line between the living individual and its labor power, so it is impossible to draw a line between the two corresponding aspects of reproductive work, but maintaining the concept brings out the tension, the potential separation, it suggests a world of conﬂicts, resistances, contradictions that have political signiﬁcance. (2009: 8) Relating to these debates, this chapter contributes to the ethnographic analysis of the practices of care work and the everyday struggles experienced by those who engage in it.
In this respect, the transnational gifting of care by female migrants may be interpreted as part of the “struggle for the commons” that feminist scholars have recently discussed with reference to grassroots projects of urban gardening, the establishment of soup kitchens, or the organization of child or alternative health care being set up by an increasing number of women worldwide in a process of the reappropriation and recollectivization of reproductive work (Federici 2009, 2010). Rather than being politically motivated, these processes are typically triggered by the will to survive within an increasingly unstable situation.
While no formal deﬁnition exists that deﬁnes the tasks of a paid caregiver in Israel, these typically comprise a multitude of reproductive activities in the private household such as cleaning, cooking, doing the laundry, and ironing, which depend greatly on the health and well-being of the recipient of care. In the case of a bedridden employer or one with a medical condition, for example, the caregiver may also have to dispense drugs, supervise or exercise physiotherapeutic training with the employer, feed him or her, help with his or her bodily hygiene, get him or her dressed, and so on.