Member Book, Aulino, Rituals of Care: Karmic Politics in an Aging Thailand

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Happy to announce the publication of "Rituals of Care: Karmic Politics in an Aging Thailand," just out with Cornell University Press.


Recent blog post about the book:



Rituals of Care: Karmic Politics in an Aging Thailand

Felicity Aulino

Cornell University Press



Introduction. An Invitation to Care

Chapter 1. The Karma of Care: Ordinary Actions and Their Consequences

Chapter 2. The Conditioning of Care: Intention, Emotion, and Restraint

Chapter 3. The Subjects of Care: Perceiving the Social Body

Chapter 4. The Civic Landscape of Care: Merit and the Spirit of Volunteering for Elders

Chapter 5. The Violence of Care: Pity and Compassion, Patronage and Repression

Conclusion. On Unending Care: Rituals for Making Things So


End-of-life issues are increasingly central to discussions within medical anthropology, the anthropology of political action, and the study of Buddhist philosophy and practice. My new book, Rituals of Care, speaks directly to these important anthropological and existential conversations. Against the backdrop of global population aging and increased attention to care for the elderly, both personal and professional, I challenge common presumptions about the universal nature of "caring." Examining particular sets of emotional and practical ways of being with people, and their specific historical lineages, I show an inseparable link between forms of social organization and forms of care.


Unlike most accounts of the quotidian concerns of providing care in a rapidly aging society, Rituals of Care brings attention to corporeal processes. Moving from vivid descriptions of the embodied routines at the heart of home caregiving to depictions of care practices in more general ways—care for one's group, care of the polity—I develop the argument that religious, social, and political structures are embodied, through habituated action, in practices of providing for others. Care thus becomes a powerful foil for understanding recent political turmoil and structural change in Thailand, proving embodied practice to be a vital vantage point for phenomenological and political analyses alike.



ISBN13: 9781501739736

ISBN10: 1501739735

Publication date: 10/15/2019

Pages: 210

Dimensions: 6 x 9 in


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