Women’s urban care practices through the lens of public social capital: a dialogue between Latin America and Europe

Dr Adriana Hurtado Tarazona, Dr Sandra Carolina Pulido-Chaparro, and Dr Nina Margies

Funding period: 1 April 2023 – 30 June 2024
Type of funding: Seminar Series

Host institutions: Interdisciplinary Center for Development Studies, Cider, Universidad de los Andes (Bogotá, Colombia) and Georg-Simmel Centre for Metropolitan Studies, Humboldt University of Berlin (Germany).
Dates: October 2023 (Bogotá), March 2024 (Berlin), and June/July 2024 (online).
Lead organisers: Dr Adriana Hurtado Tarazona (Universidad de los Andes), Dr Sandra Carolina Pulido-Chaparro (Universidad de los Andes), and Dr Nina Margies (Humboldt University of Berlin).
Team members: Dr María José Álvarez- Rivadulla (Universidad de los Andes), Dr Friederike Fleischer (Universidad de los Andes), Professor Talja Blokland (Humboldt University of Berlin), and Dr Natalia Martini (Georg-Simmel Centre for Metropolitan Studies).
Contact: Dr Adriana Hurtado Tarazona

Abstract: The economic and health crisis triggered by the pandemic has drawn global attention to vulnerabilities in cities and the importance of caregiving practices. Most studies on care in cities have focused primarily on homes (Federici, 1975, 2012). While care may take place within the confines of a residence, many things that we do outside of a residence consist in taking care of self, others, and the environment. Our proposed seminar series aims to discuss and conceptualize the urban care practices of women in Europe and Latin America through the lens of social capital in public life, that is, how they use the city as a site of resources for their care practices through urban infrastructure and fluid encounters (Blokland 2017).
The seminars will discuss the following questions:

  • What forms of social and symbolic resources of urban infrastructure allow women to enable or create forms of urban care?
  • What lessons can we learn about specific cases in Latin America and Europe, on the role of public social capital in care practices?
  • How experiences from the margins allow us to think about public social capital?

To answer these questions, we will dialogue with existing reflections on urban care, analyzing how it functions in the public (Tronto 2014, Gabauer et al. 2021), where institutional centers, meeting places, or neighborhoods become spaces of care (Conradson 2003, Mee 2009). We will further discussions on fluid understandings of sociability, encounters from the margins, and urban resources, in which we will seek to bridge the literature on social capital, encounters, conviviality, and analyze under-explored spatial forms of sociability such as care practices.

The Seminar Series will promote dialogues between different disciplines (anthropology, sociology, urban studies, development studies and urban-regional planning, geography), actors (public sector, academia -including ECRs, and communities), and cities from the global south and north.