Negotiations of care and the UN/Doing of significant relations at the intersection of kinship and the state
Nina Haberland’s dissertation project focuses on (re)negotiations of care and processes of un/doing kinship in domestic as well as institutional contexts. Between 2017 and 2019, she carried out sixteen months of ethnographic fieldwork in a small district in Northern Tanzania. At first intending to investigate processes of undoing kinship, she started her research in a public hospital, studying cases of abandoned patients. Over the course of the research, she included the district’s social welfare office as well as other connected (state) institutions such as the police, the district court, an elders’ association, and a sober living house into her research. By focusing on the daily interactions between various (state) actors and their patients/clients and by following recent calls on investigating kinship beyond the domestic domain, the research foregrounded the intertwining of kinship and the state in the realm of welfare. The intersections of kinship and the state and the resultant margins were of particular interest, making room for (re)negotiations of care responsibilities and boundary work on both sides. Thus, the social welfare office, as well as the other institutions, played a crucial role in questions of political belonging, access to or exclusion from resources, and in the un/doing of significant relations.