Handle with Care: relationality and intimacy of care

Authors: Lorraine Dowler*, Penn State University, Ann Bartos*, University of Auckland
Topics: Political Geography, Ethnicity and Race, Gender
Keywords: relationally, care, intimacy
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/8/2021
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:15 AM
Room: Virtual 55
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


In this paper, we take a relational care approach that examines the interdependent and intimate relationships enacted by both care workers and the residents of a South Bronx neighbourhood. This South Bronx community has long been socially and economically bordered from much of New York City, which resulted in exponentially higher numbers of cases, hospitalizations, and deaths from COVID 19. The paper focuses on the possibilities for how relationality can produce intimate care between care workers from the Montefiore Health Care system and this community. In this case, we focus on a system of care that extends beyond hospital walls and the confines of westernized medicine to support the intimate needs of a struggling population. Included in these care interventions by the hospital are safe housing, availability of healthy foods in local markets, farmer's markets in hospital parking lots, winter coats, and workshops on engaging in rent strikes. The second part of this paper details how care workers and residents of this community were both treated expendable by the state. The relationality approach in this paper collapses distance and difference into intimate and interdependent understandings of care.

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