By Sarah Lamb

The proliferation of previous age houses and extending numbers of aged dwelling on my own are startling new phenomena in India. those tendencies are on the topic of large in a foreign country migration and the transnational dispersal of households. during this relocating and insightful account, Sarah Lamb indicates that older individuals are cutting edge brokers within the techniques of social-cultural switch. Lamb's research probes debates and cultural assumptions in either India and the USA concerning how most sensible to age; the right kind social-moral dating between contributors, genders, households, the industry, and the kingdom; and methods of discovering that means within the human existence course.

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Extra info for Aging and the Indian Diaspora: Cosmopolitan Families in India and Abroad (Tracking Globalization)

Sample text

Altogether, though, I ended up meeting with just two sons, four daughters, one daughter-in-law, one grandchild, and one sister. Among the reasons opportunities to meet kin seemed scant: first, some elder-abode residents actually have very few kin living nearby, and second, some living in elder residences do not get along well with their kin. ) Third, some kin, especially sons and daughters-in-law, are reportedly embarrassed to be seen visiting, as old-age-home living carries a stigma for the families; and fourth, most kin visit on Sundays, a day that I myself was often absent, as it was the day that (during my longest fieldwork period in 2006) my daughters were out of school and my driver had off.

What they needed to work on now was to make sense of these, to critique and evaluate them, to contend with them—embracing some, rejecting others, reshaping and interpreting yet others, and, when possible and desirable, integrating the more “Western” forms with certain more “Indian” (often represented as “traditional” or “older”) principles, institutions, lifeways, and conceptualizations of personhood, family, and the life course. At the forefront of this ethnography, then, lies a tension and critical interplay between globality and particularity, Western hegemony and local specificity, and creative human agency and structural constraints.

Such perceptions of modernity were intimately tied as well to visions of the past; for as scholars have long pointed out, the project of fashioning modernity is always also one of fashioning a past that is now lost or pushed away. As we were winding our way through heavy traffic one warm Kolkata evening, I mentioned to my driver Sharfuddin Ahmad that the next day I was pleased to be visiting the daughter of a married couple living in an old age home whom I had come to know well. I remarked that I was very interested in meeting the daughter, as I had barely ever seen any sign of Aging and the Indian Diaspora the children of old-age-home residents.

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