The Duty of Love: Kinship and Identity in the Face of Disability in Madrid

Marina Mateo

Abstract


Life with a disability in Spain implies a constant struggle not just for the person with disabilities but also for their family, who must mobilise enough care resources to compensate for the lack of social support they receive. This paper focuses on the ways in which having a family member with a cognitive disability shapes kinship relations, and how the impact related to having a family member with a disability shapes the construction of the family unit as well as the identity of the able-bodied family members. I argue that the narrative of “unconditional love” within the family unit is what enables many families to naturalise the extra work involved in caring for a person with disabilities as part of what it means to be a family – and not as a chore. Care becomes the idiom of their love as it acts as a relational activity through which personhood is created. By humanising the child with disabilities in this way, care is accepted as a “natural” part of their kinship relations.


Keywords


kinship; disability; care; moral values

Full Text:

PDF


DOI: https://doi.org/10.15273/jue.v12i1.11310

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


The JUE is a peer-reviewed online journal that publishes original ethnographic research by undergraduates working in a variety of disciplines. Submissions are welcomed. Contact the Editor, Karen McGarry.

ISSN 2369-8721