Locus of Care: Families, Communities, Institutions, and the by P. Horden

By P. Horden

This paintings presents a historic point of view on welfare through the global, detailing who carers have been some time past, the place care was once supplied and the way a ways the boundary among kin and country or casual and arranged associations have replaced through the years.

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Extra info for Locus of Care: Families, Communities, Institutions, and the Provision of Welfare Since Antiquity (Studies in the Social History of Medicine)

Sample text

It is far from clear how the discrepancy should be resolved. (8) Next, the variety of means that households are shown as employing to counteract deficiencies in their capacity for support of their sick and disadvantaged. Some involve importing new members. They would include adoption and fostering,10 remarriage, taking in lodgers or relatives from other households. Other recourses involve exporting to another household or an institution those who might constitute a burdensome surplus. Under this heading we should include apprenticeship11 and (more commonly encountered in this volume) putting into service, as well as hospitalization and boarding out.

Relations of kinship dominate in the formation of networks. But some networks include close neighbours as well as kin; and a few, mostly on the smaller side, comprise neighbours only. In addition, overlapping the tight formations thus created, there are exchanges between affinal kin who are not members of the same network; there are various cross-cutting ties of godparenthood; and there are tandas—rotating credit groups involving companions in the work place as well as friends and neighbours—in which everyone donates a small fixed sum per month and the total is pocketed by each member in turn.

Compassion cannot now be disentangled from calculation in the thinking of participants. And that is perhaps not simply a by-product of the passage of time and the lack of intimate evidence. It reflects a profound confusion of motives. A similar ethos emerges from the pages of another frequently cited study of working-class life in industrial England. 39 Families were typically nuclear: pauper households were the most likely to be extended to include kin as lodgers; newly married couples resided in a parental household for a short time before finding their own quarters; widowed or deserted parents lodged with their children in old age; unrelated elderly folk were sometimes taken in too, providing child care in exchange for accommodation.

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