New Perspectives on Mutual Dependency in Care-Giving  book cover
1st Edition

New Perspectives on Mutual Dependency in Care-Giving

ISBN 9780367598099
Published June 30, 2020 by Routledge
168 Pages

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Book Description

Many scholars see caregiving relationships as being based on mutual dependency or interdependency. Extensively cited notions of the ’global care chain’ or ’international division of reproductive labour’ have prepared the ground for analysis of global interdependencies in several domains. This book goes further by taking mutual dependency as a starting point for analysing all relationships. Using the example of Vietnamese families in the Czech Republic and the Czech native nannies, it shows how paid caregiving is contextualized in terms of various relationships between three types of actors: employer-employee, caring for the child, and mother-child. All of these ties are based on ontologically different principles and each of them operates as a piece of a puzzle, which is meaningful only in relation to each other. Souralová considers caregiving to be a formative activity that establishes ties between the concerned actors, whose subjectivities are mutually shaped in the daily practice of caregiving. With its stress on mutuality in care work, this ground-breaking book illuminates the new forms of interpersonal, interethnic, and intergenerational relationships and highlights the mechanisms and processes in which kinship ties are negotiated and reproduced.

Table of Contents

Introduction: ‘Where do the children play?’; ‘We are here alone’: the hiring decision in the struggle for family resettlement; ‘We need each other’: childcare as a paid and fulfilling activity; ‘Everything for us but nothing with us’: the meaning of motherhood, delegation of care work and its consequences; ‘From nanny to granny’: caring as kinning; ‘Europe is my brain, Asia is my heart’: grandmotherland and kinning as home-bonding; Conclusion: mutual dependency, emotionality, and kinship ties in care-giving; Appendices; Bibliography; Index.

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Adéla Souralová is Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology, Social Anthropology and Office for Population Studies at Masaryk University in the Czech Republic.


’New Perspectives on Mutual Dependency in Care-Giving is an important and illuminating study of gender, ethnicity and care. The analysis of social relationships between Czech nannies, Vietnamese children and their working parents is brilliant and fascinating. Adéla Souralová is an intelligent and creative young scholar. She deserves thousands of readers.’ Lise Widding Isaksen, University of Bergen, Norway ’This book fills an important gap in the migration and care literature by considering a little documented care configuration: immigrant women who employ local women to look after their children. Souralova gives heartfelt voice to the often conflicting perspectives of Vietnamese immigrant mothers, Czech grannies and second generation children to deliver innovative ideas about care-giving as a formative activity based in mutual dependencies.’ Loretta Baldassar, University of Western Australia, Australia