Accepted Paper:

Immigration and elderly care in Italy and Brazil  


Guita Grin Debert (Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP))

Paper short abstract:

This paper focuses on a comparative analysis of elderly care in Brazil and Italy. Through an ethnographic approach, the aim is to discuss the way in which new forms of professional care redefines dependence, gives new meaning to family relationships, to state obligations and to domestic life.

Paper long abstract:

The aim of the presentation is to discuss the way in which care of the elderly is gaining specific configurations in both Brazil and Italy. The focus is on the migration of women from Latin America and Eastern Europe to work with home care of the elderly in Italy and on new Brazilian law regarding domestic work and on the debates about profissionalization of elderly caregivers. Through an ethnographic approach and based on field research conducted in Bologna (Italy) and in São Paulo (Brazil) with caregivers and their employers the aim of this paper is to discuss: (1) the configuration of this new growing market that responds to the rapid aging of the world's population;(2) how categories of gender, age and nationality are active producers of differentiation and inequality; (3) how the visibility gained by the duo combining two unwanted populations - the elderly and immigrants - redefines forms of dependence, gives new meaning to family relationships, to obligations of the state and to domestic life. The discussion of each of these topics is guided by a doubly comparative perspective: family relations in Brazil marked by the presence of domestic workers and the transnational sex industry and the global care industry

Panel P091
Cross-cutting care and care across cuts: dimensions of care in contexts of crisis and social change