Tag Archives: family

AAGE X ACYIG: Richard Zimmer on generational links in special needs families

When I was in San Diego last spring for the SPA/ACYIG Meeting (Anthropology of Children and Youth Interest Group), I attended a panel discussion on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (which only the USA and Somalia are yet to ratify).

Many of us are involved in similar political advocacy for the rights and welfare of older persons. We may work in areas of the world where these rights are debated, ignored, or threatened. In most cases, the rights of older persons are either explicitly or implicitly covered in generic human rights declarations such as the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD). However, although positive steps were taken last August at the Open-Ended Working Group on Ageing, the UN is yet to adopt a Convention on the Rights of Older Persons. (See the pdf of the August 2012 working paper on the rights of older persons by Fredvang and Biggs here)
Realizing that the challenges and vulnerabilities faced by older adults were shared by children and youth as well, and that the AAGE and ACYIG share a common emphasis on the life course perspective, the anthropologists at the table thought it would be a good idea to to move towards building a common agenda on both advocacy or engaged anthropology issues as well as on life course research on human rights, including the distinctive ways older people and younger people are affected by climate change and natural disaster, poverty, abuse, mental health, discrimination, war and displacement, institutional living, and many other issues.

ACYIG was generous in taking the first step. Aviva Sinervo (UCSC), who edits the newsletter for ACYIG published this piece by AAGE/AALCIG member Richard Zimmer (pdf of his contribution here). Zimmer does not speak specifically to the human rights issues brought up at the workshop I attended, but he does raise the crucial issues of working across generations in communities affected by developmental disabilities. In working with these families, Zimmer highlights the need for greater anthropological/ethnographic work on the family that can draw together the complexity of individuals at different ends of the life course.

I hope that our groups can find additional ways to make additional generational links. From here, we might think about organizing a panel for the ACYIG meeting (in Charleston, SC, 12-15 February) and keep things rolling (AAA 2014?). Hope that AAGE X ACYIG this becomes a recurring theme in the news here. Email us and/or Aviva Sinervo at ACYIG if you would like to get involved or organize conference symposia/events (You can also join the ACYIG for free if you are a AAA member, or join their listserv, or like their Facebook page even if you are not!)

The Familial Dyad between Aged Patients and Filipina Caregivers in Israel

Anthropology & Aging Quarterly Volume 34, issue 3 (September 2013) pp.126-134

The Familial Dyad between Aged Patients and Filipina Caregivers in Israel:
Eldercare, Bodily-based Practices, and the Jewish Family

Keren Mazuz

Department of Sociology and Anthropology, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Download full PDF here: AAQ34(3)MAZUZ

Abstract

As the population in the US ages, there is increasing need to study aging In this article I describe a familial dyad between the Filipina caregiver and the Israeli aged patient. I argue that a familial dyad emerges based on bodily forms of care. This familial dyad becomes a mechanism for adaptation to and enduring of the daily and intimate encounter of a foreign caregiver and an aged dying patient. The familial dyad provides insight into the phenomenology of the care experience as a function for re-conceptualizing social relations and intra-family dynamics. This will broaden our understanding of the possible varieties of bodily-based practices and their relational repercussions as interpersonal care engagements. The form of a familial dyad underscores the dynamism and complexity of care practices as intersubjective and corporeal modes through which one body engages the other. These care practices which are based on repetitive physical actions allow immediate first-person access to the other participants’ subjective state. Thus, in an era of globalized care, the familial dyad takes form and shape at the most intimate juncture between the subjects, their corporeal and interpersonal being.

Keywords: Israel, bodily-based practices, eldercare, Filipina caregivers, empathy, family, dyad, work migration, Jewish home, phenomenology of care