Caring Cultures/Cultures of Care

Country: Ireland

City: Maynooth

Abstr. due: 01.12.2015

Dates: 01.03.16 — 01.03.16

Area Of Sciences: Law; Medicine;

Organizing comittee e-mail:

Organizers: Anthropological Association of Ireland (AAI)


Care is infrastructural for human beings. Humans experience extreme dependency early in life, usually require at least some assistance at its end, and are likely to require periods of care in their middle years.  Nonetheless, while studies of technologies of care have a long intellectual history (especially in Nursing), care as such has not been central to classic analyses of social life.

Feminist Philosophy and Moral Reasoning, however, engaged care in a serious intellectual way in the 1980s, while the topic has also emerged as a significant policy and economic anxiety in demographically graying societies during the last fifteen years or so.  Since this point, “care” has developed into both a cross-roads and a meeting place for very different critiques of the idea of the bounded, calculating and self-interested subject presumably at the heart of capitalist social formations. Care now positively structures everything from new politics, different economics, new forms of social analysis, genres of art and performance practice, and, indeed, a potentially lucrative area for capital investment. Concepts of care are located in environment/sustainability studies, conflict and human rights, mobility studies, equality studies, and multiple other sites. Still, there are few direct measures of formal care, and the number of studies of informal care-giving (while growing) remains significantly under-developed in comparison to its ubiquity in social life.

This conference wishes to unpack the idea of care in both formal and informal settings through original theoretical and empirical studies. We seek an expansive understanding of this concept and invite papers from Anthropology, Sociology, Ethnomusicology, History, Economics, Nursing and other disciplines. We welcome proposals for both complete panels and for individual papers.

Conference Web-Site: