School of Social and Political Science

Who Will Cook for Joseph? Difficult Kinship, Ambivalent Mobilities, and Uncertain Devotions in the Central Philippines

02 December 2022
15:00 - 17:00


Seminar Room 1, Chrystal Macmillan Building



A photo of catering trays with food


In this seminar, I recount a key aspect of the tragedy of social mobility in post-1945 Philippines: how it’s endangered some children’s ability to repay their parents in later life. For my Ilonggo interlocutors, care obligations have become difficult to fulfil given that social mobility often entailed moving to bigger cities, and eventually, overseas. Care obligations have thus contributed to long-standing inequalities and enmities amongst siblings, particularly where the unequal distribution of these obligations is neither acknowledged nor reciprocated. The death of a parent can escalate these animosities – but it can also allow these obligations to be recognised, contested, or redistributed, even if ever so slightly. As with kinship and social mobility more generally, care here is interwoven with Catholic ideals and devotional practices that are part of the relational infrastructures of upward mobility, and as such, bear the marks of injuries caused by success.  

Key speakers

  • Dr Resto Cruz (Edinburgh)