Families We Need: Disability, Abandonment, and Foster Care’s Resistance in Contemporary China (Hardcover)

Families We Need: Disability, Abandonment, and  Foster Care’s Resistance in Contemporary China By Erin Raffety Cover Image
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Description


Set in the remote, mountainous Guangxi Autonomous Region and based on ethnographic fieldwork, Families We Need traces the movement of three Chinese foster children, Dengrong, Pei Pei, and Meili, from the state orphanage into the humble, foster homes of Auntie Li, Auntie Ma, and Auntie Huang. Traversing the geography of Guangxi, from the modern capital Nanning where Pei Pei and Meili reside, to the small farming village several hours away where Dengrong is placed, this ethnography details the hardships of social abandonment for disabled children and disenfranchised, older women in China, while also analyzing the state’s efforts to cope with such marginal populations and incorporate them into China’s modern future. The book argues that Chinese foster families perform necessary, invisible service to the Chinese state and intercountry adoption, yet the bonds they form also resist such forces, exposing the inequalities, privilege, and ableism at the heart of global family making.

About the Author


Erin Raffety is a research fellow at the Center for Theological Inquiry, an empirical research consultant at Princeton Theological Seminary, and an associate research scholar at Princeton Seminary’s Institute for Youth Ministry. Raffety researches and writes on disability, congregational ministry, and church leadership and is an advocate for disabled people.

Praise For…


"Families We Need is a brilliant and warmly empathic book. Written with grace and lucidity, it elevates readers’ understanding of the need for family, and of how neediness can be a source of strength, and even abundance."
— Kathie Carpenter

"Raffety’s work provides a rare and precious view on foster care and other kinship practices in mountainous Southwest China, showing us their deep entanglements with forces of urbanization and globalization. It reveals how life-transforming care could emerge where the most vulnerable individuals encounter each other, quietly resisting the deeply-seated biases of ableism, classism, and even imperialism. The book exemplifies the most empathic and humanizing type of ethnography."
— Zhiying Ma

"Families We Need is a brilliant and warmly empathic book. Written with grace and lucidity, it elevates readers’ understanding of the need for family, and of how neediness can be a source of strength, and even abundance."
— Kathie Carpenter

"Raffety’s work provides a rare and precious view on foster care and other kinship practices in mountainous Southwest China, showing us their deep entanglements with forces of urbanization and globalization. It reveals how life-transforming care could emerge where the most vulnerable individuals encounter each other, quietly resisting the deeply-seated biases of ableism, classism, and even imperialism. The book exemplifies the most empathic and humanizing type of ethnography."
— Zhiying Ma
Product Details
ISBN: 9781978829305
ISBN-10: 1978829302
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
Publication Date: November 11th, 2022
Pages: 220
Language: English