The book examines the emotional, micro-situated dynamics of status inclusion/exclusion that people produce while caring for others by focusing, in particular, on non-conventional families. Grounded in empirical research that involves different types of care and family contexts, the book situates care within more inclusive and critical approaches while shedding light on its multiple and often overlooked meanings and implications. Engaging and accompanied by a useful methodological appendix, Doing Care, Doing Citizenship is essential reading for students and academics of sociology, psychology, social work and social theory. It will also be of interest to practitioners interested in developing their understanding of the relationship between care, emotions, social inclusion and citizenship.
The workshop addresses fundamental political, cultural and sociological implications of the current international refugee crisis in terms of social inclusion, citizenship and social change. Several scholars (Castles, 2014; Dauvergne and Marsden, 2014; James, 2014; McNevin, 2006; Shachar, 2014; Stychin, 2001) highlight the multiple challenges involved in the attempt to overcome current limited uses of the language of citizenship. Among the numerous issues concerning the necessity to provide different social actors with fair and adequate responses, James (2014) emphasises the issue of the social and ethical framing of the problem, which requires going beyond unilateral, inflexible and value-neutral definitions of entitlement to rights. More specifically, the author suggests the necessity to ground the ethics of rights to an ethics of care through which fundamental questions of difference/identity, inclusion/exclusion, and mobility/belonging are negotiated (James, 2014). This involves the necessity to shift the focus upon the micro level of analysis and to look at the spaces where the situated actions and interactions occur, at the ways, in other words, in which people constantly construct and reconstruct their sense of entitlement and belonging. Citizenship and social inclusion (macro level) will be associated in this workshop to the ‘sentiments’ and the ‘practices’ of family care (micro level). The term ‘world families’ (Beck and Beck-Gernsheim, 2014) includes a heterogeneous and tension-filled set of social actors who share in common the potentiality to bridge traditional distinctions between public and private, centre and periphery, national and international, bypassing dichotomous ideas of inclusion/exclusion which typically characterise the concept of citizenship. This concept resonates with the notion of ‘cultural rights’ described by Pakulski (1997) in terms of a new set of claims including the right to symbolic presence and visibility vs. marginalisation; the right to dignifying representation vs. stigmatisation; and the right to affirmation and propagation of identity vs. assimilation. ‘Global citizens’ and ‘global families’ are the terms I use in this context to indicate refugees, asylum seekers and other unequally entitled citizens. From the theoretical point of view, the approach here illustrated draws on those aspects of the sociology of emotions that explain inequality in terms of emotion-based processes which occur at the level of micro-situated interactions (Barbalet, 2001; Collins, 1990, 1993, 2004; Gordon, 1990; Hammond, 1990; Hochschild, 1995; Katz, 1999; Kemper, 1990; Scheff, 1990; Smith-Lovin, 1993; von Scheve & von Luede, 2005). The idea is intersecting care, emotion and citizenship and analysing their role to understand social inclusion and social change. More specifically, the workshop will be based on Collins’ theory of Interaction Ritual Chains (2004), according to which the fundamental mechanisms defining the individuals’ positions (/statuses) in society possess an emotional nature rather than a merely economic, cultural, social or political one.
The theoretical contribution illustrated in this article is aimed at highlighting the vast potentialities emerging from the intersection of citizenship studies, ethics of care studies and the sociology of emotions; in other words, emerging from the intersection of the concept of citizenship with the concept of care and the emotional dynamics revolving around them. The analysis is developed within the context of our rapidly changing global societies and in light of some of the most recent developments concerning the so-called European refugee crisis. The overall objective is getting insights in the multiple ways in which new forms of citizenship and social inclusion are creatively performed at the local level, i.e. at the level of micro-interactions, even when forms of exclusion, borders-defence attitudes and racism persist at the institutional and political level.
Pratesi, Alessandro(Universitat Oberta de Catalunya, 2018-07)
Long distance relationships and caring at a distance may be connected with emotional and psychological exhaustion but also gratification, reward and empowerment; above all, they possess important implications in terms of social justice, equality and citizenship. The expression ‘world families’ (Beck and Beck-Gernsheim, 2014) includes a heterogeneous and tension-filled set of social actors who have in common the potential to bridge traditional distinctions between public and private, centre and periphery, national and international, able-bodied and physically/cognitively impaired, heterosexual and homosexual, bypassing dichotomous ideas of inclusion/exclusion which typically characterise the concept of citizenship. These families represent a group of very different social actors, including couples of mixed cultures and ethnicities, low-paid migrant workers, skilled migrant workers, asylum seekers, refugees, distant families, etc. who challenge our culturally homogenous understanding of family and society and are defined therefore as ‘pioneers of cosmopolitanism’ and cultural diversity.
Drawing on recent work on families, relationships, intimacies and caring for distant others and contextualising it within the specific and still unexplored context of Living Apart Together (LAT) same-sex couples, this article examines the moral, sociological and institutional geographies of these less visible chains of care and affection and their unequally entitled rights and visibility. The literature review is combined with auto-ethnographic work analysing and discussing the case of a married, same-sex, transnational, Living Apart Together (LAT) couple.
This article suggests that by looking at what happens at the level of emotion-based, micro-situated interactions we can get some crucial insights into the changing nature of families, intimacies and relationships and their multiple implications in terms of social inclusion, entitlement to rights/citizenship and social change. It is a form of relational, emotion-based and micro-situated social inclusion and entitlement to rights/citizenship which is occurring, on a daily basis, in the interstices of people’s interactions even when such change still meets several obstacles at the structural, political and institutional level.
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