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Anthropological Inquiries into Uncertainty, Apprehension, and Responsibility

Research period:2018.10-2022.3

NISHI Makoto


Value,Social order,Ecology of care


Child care, assistance for the elderly and disabled, therapeutic care, nursing, and other care-related practices in various dimensions of daily life are initiated with emotions that flow from temporary relationships with others, and can be identified within a series of interrelated contexts that determine whether they are supported or rejected on the basis of collective rules, or guaranteed or excluded by the socioeconomic system. All societies have developed intricate rules and systems to provide the protective and therapeutic care services that their members require. However, in an uncertain world, we are always entangled in relationships marked by a lack of institutional guarantees and apprehension over the hopelessness of receiving support based on those rules. This study has the objective of improving our ethnographic descriptions of the political processes whereby bundled relationships arising from emotion and rules reinforce or oppose certain forms of social order, and establishing the methodology for that purpose. That ethnographic methodology will at the same time facilitate portrayal of the complex rules and systems for care, the incentives for the agents connected with those rules and systems, and the knowledge, technologies, and resources so mobilized as a form of value-generating framework or, in other words, an ecology of care.