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Felicity Aulino on Providing Care in an Aging Thailand

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 While the physical #ISA2020 Annual Conference has been canceled, we’ve created this new online portal so you can take advantage of the book deals normally only given to conference attendees. Our featured International Studies books are now available to everyone with our special virtual booth forty percent discount—use the promo code 09EXP40 to save. Enjoy!


In this post, we ask Felicity Aulino three questions about her new book Rituals of Care: Karmic Politics in an Aging Thailand, and her research in providing care for the elderly.

1. What’s your favorite anecdote from your research for this book?

How one day, while with my husband in Bangkok taking pictures of an abandoned skyscraper rising up beside low-slung houses along a canal, a woman struck up a conversation and invited us into her home to talk more… And when I then told her about my research on care for the elderly, she pushed open a door off the kitchen to reveal her own mother, bedridden and cared for at home.

2. What do you wish you had known when you started writing your book, that you know now?

That the work can keep growing, the book being just the capture of one’s thinking at a given time and hopefully a conversation starter…

3. How do you wish you could change the field of Asian studies?

To pivot or otherwise expand the field to thinking more from Asia, with Asian theorists and philosophical lineages, using Asian studies perspectives to examine a host of issues globally.


Felicity Aulino is Five-College Assistant Professor of Anthropology based at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

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