‘‘Carework, Kingship, and Child Thriving in the Caribbean’’ is topic of lecture presented by Robin G. Nelson, assistant professor of anthropology at the Santa Clara University.
The relationships between children and their caretakers are vitally important and influence psychological development, physical growth, and health across the lifespan. In many communities, families are fluid, reflecting specific responses to cultural practices and economic pressures.
My research in working-class Caribbean communities examines the link between colonialism, global labor economies, parenting practices, and the health of children and their caretakers. In this talk, I explore the intersection of the core concepts in evolutionary studies of the family, including parental investment, extended kin care, and gender socialization, and regionally specific resource pressures and international adult labor migration patterns.
Specifically, I will discuss my mixed method study on what happens in the lives of children whose families are unable to provide care. I am interested in how these children experience limited social and financial capital, as well as the impact of early occurrences of scarcity and deprivation on growth profiles.
My current research builds on this study and investigates gendered migration and Caribbean identities sourrounding parenthood. This work combines convential studies in the human biology of growth and reproduction with ethnographic understandings of community, transnational labor systems, and gender.