Events 2023

Department of Anthropology
— hybrid event —

30 January 2023, 3:30-5:00 pm
(Stanford University, US)

Tatjana Thelen: Care and state: A theoretical approach and an example from the Hungarian countryside.

In many contemporary debates, care has been invoked to criticize the state, and to demand more support for citizens, families and communities. While politically effective, this use of care is theoretically problematic: it reproduces top-down images and scales that oppose ‘micro’ care practices to the encompassing ‘macro’ state. The first part of this talk presents a proposal for overcoming these binaries by exploring the coevolution of the state and its ‘others’ – most notably family/kinship, community and civil society – in negotiations of care. In the second part, I demonstrate some aspects of this approach using an example of marginalization in a Hungarian village. At the center of this exploration are ideals of parental care widely shared by state actors and other citizens. My ultimate aim is to invert the hierarchy and ask how care shapes state configurations.

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