Former hominger Sara Bonfanti has recently published an article, From breadwinner to bedridden: Vulnerable tales of a labor migrant household in Italy, in Focaal: Journal of Global and Historical Anthropology.The article is part of a Special Issue on Vulnerable homes on the move edited by Sara Bonfanti together with Aurora Massa and Shuhua Chen.
From breadwinner to bedridden: Vulnerable tales of a labor migrant household in Italy
Focaal 92 (2022): 48–63
Abstract: Within transnational labor, the working capital of migrants may recoil as aging and disability occur, crushing people’s everyday life and aspirations. Drawing from ethnographic fieldwork with Indo-Pakistani minorities in Brescia, northern Italy, the author queries “a case for affliction,” seeing the experience of a breadwinner’s stroke disrupting his household. While for decades Punjabi diasporas have settled abroad remitting to the homeland, social attainment often remains precarious for first-time movers and their offspring. After 20-year residence in a destination country, a migrant father’s collapse rebounds on his kindred, who regrettably turn to local welfare and public housing but also readjust personal desires toward sustainable family care. Intersectional analysis abets the participants’ narratives in challenging any set “sense of inequality,” embodied, and embedded in run-of-the-mill racialized capitalism.
Keywords: Brescia, dis-ability, family upheaval, Indian diaspora, labor migration, livelihood disruption, public housing, urban ghettoization