Oral Presentation Session
Reviewed by: Society for Medical Anthropology
Of interest to: Practicing and Applied Anthropologists
Primary Theme: Ethics
Secondary Theme: Health
Care has become an important notion in anthropology and more recently in the field of the anthropology of ethics, especially drawing from feminist scholarship such as Carol Gilligan’s concept of ethics of care (Gilligan 1977) and Mackenzie and Stoljar’s concept of relational autonomy (Mackenzie and Stoljar 2000), as well as Cheryl Mattingly’s work on moral laboratories and the “good life” in the context of care (Mattingly 2014). Ethnographic works in medical and psychological anthropology as well as the anthropology of disability have explored the everyday ethics of care contextualized within technoscientific ideologies, healthcare systems, globalizing neoliberalism, and humanitarian regimes. In this panel, we reflect on how entanglements of care intersect with ethical concerns within different contexts: services for people on the autism spectrum in Canada, United States, France, Italy, and Germany; participatory design of auditory and affective technologies for people with different abilities in Montreal, Canada; communities of women with Turner Syndrome and people with Down Syndrome, both in the United States; and patients waking up from coma in a Swiss hospital. We consider across these diverse contexts: how is care defined and evaluated? What constitutes “good care”? What imaginaries inform notions of care? When and where is care understood as harmful? These questions importantly inform everyday ethical practices, which anthropological methods are well suited to unpack.
Gilligan, C. (1977). In a different voice: Women's conceptions of self and of morality. Harvard educational review, 47(4), 481-517.
Mackenzie, C., and N. Stoljar. (2000). Relational Autonomy: Feminist Perspectives on Autonomy, Agency, and the Social Self. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
Mattingly, C. (2014). Moral Laboratories: Family Peril and the Struggle for the Good Life. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.