Conclusions: The Processes of Producing Kinship and the State in Residential Care

Jennifer Rasell - Care of the State



The concluding chapter of Care of the State: Relationships, Kinship and the State in Children’s Homes in Late Socialist Hungary draws together the main findings of my research into four themes. I first highlight how rooting analysis in care gives a clearer picture of how relationships are created, maintained and dissolved. It lets us take the nature and location of care work seriously and not dismiss emotional paid care as being on the ‘wrong’ side of the public-private binary. Secondly, I explain how my work contributes to the relational anthropology of the state by showing that images of the family shape concrete and contradictory state practices. Connected to this, my third theme is how the emphasis on parent-child relations in the child welfare system of late socialist Hungary devalued other possible relations and the care provided by them. To explore how the state and kinship are connected, I focus fourthly on the blurring of boundaries between the two and also occasions when the boundaries were clear and impassable.