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Accepted Paper:

Claiming kinship through ‘filial heart’: migrant care workers in ageing Shanghai  
Xinyuan Wang (University College London (UCL))

Paper short abstract:

Drawing on the ethnography in Shanghai, this paper unpacks the concept of‘ filial piety’ and argues that what matters most in kinship practice within China is not so much an issue of kin classification but a practical distinction between sentiment and obligation.

Paper long abstract:

Drawing on the ethnography of migrant care workers looking after the elderly in Shanghai, this paper unpacks the concept ‘filial piety’ to focus on the notion and practice of ‘filial heart’. The ethnography provides the perspective of care workers play as active agents in developing symbolic trajectories for claiming kinship through visualizing ‘filial heart’. The paper argues that what matters most in kinship practice within China is not so much an issue of kin classification but a practical distinction between sentiment and obligation. By understanding how this detachable element of filial piety can be used to constitute a novel form of kinship relation, the paper also shows how kinship is evolving to become better aligned to contemporary urban life in China.

Panel P110b
Commoning in the digital age – lessons from China and beyond II
  Session 1 Wednesday 27 July, 2022, -