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Households of Care and Lines of Transmission: Some Ethnographic Evidence from Contemporary France


Florence Weber


Through three ethnographic cases, the author explores the differences between fatherhood and motherhood in France and between care-giving to children and to the elderly. She uses the concepts of households of care and lines of transmission to show the economic and affective dimensions of kinship. French civil law makes no difference between men and women, either in property in family support (through the reciprocal duty of support between parents and children). Yet to establish a child’s identity, fathers have to be married or to legally recognize the child and social practices of care are still gendered. Maternal love is considered as natural, more than paternal love or filial duty.

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Telephone: 91(0)11 27667858
Address: Department of Sociology, Delhi School of Economics, 
University of Delhi (North Campus)
Delhi - 110007

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