April Book Discussion: Tanja Ahlin’s Calling Family

The Association of Aging, Gerontology, and the Life Course (AAGE) is hosting a discussion of Tanja Ahlin’s Calling Family: Digital Technologies and the Making of Transnational Care Collectives (Rutgers University Press, 2023) via Zoom on Friday, April 12, 12-1pm (Eastern North America).

About the book: How do digital technologies shape both how people care for each other and, through that, who they are? With technological innovation is on the rise and increasing migration introducing vast distances between family members–a situation additionally complicated by the COVID-19 pandemic and the requirements of physical distancing, especially for the most vulnerable – older adults–this is a pertinent question. Through ethnographic fieldwork among families of migrating nurses from Kerala, India, Tanja Ahlin explores how digital technologies shape elder care when adult children and their aging parents live far apart. Coming from a country in which appropriate elder care is closely associated with co-residence, these families tinker with smartphones and social media to establish how care at a distance can and should be done to be considered good. Through the notion of transnational care collectives, Calling Family uncovers the subtle workings of digital technologies on care across countries and continents when being physically together is not feasible. Calling Family provides a better understanding of technological relationality that can only be expected to further intensify in the future.

The moderator of the discussion will be Sarah Lamb (Brandeis University), known for her work on aging in India and among the South Asian diaspora, as well as on discourses of successful aging.

If you are interested in attending, please contact Cati Coe for access to the reading and the Zoom link.

The next meeting will discuss Fumilayo Showers’ Migrants who Care: West Africans Working and Building Lives in U.S. Health Care on May 10, 12-1pm.

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