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“In the past, the future used to be much brighter”: Embodied Austerity in Portugal
Antónia Lima (Lima, Antónia); Lima, Antónia (Lima, Antónia);
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18º Congresso Mundial IUAES - World (of) Encounters
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Between 2011 and 2016 the Portuguese government adopted rigid austerity policies to face a public debt crisis throwing the country into a profound socio-economic crisis. Based on fieldwork carried out in Portugal among middle class families, this paper will discuss how national economic politics affected people’s livelihoods and the profound changes produced by the daily experience of making a living in a period of crises. Faced with increasing rates of unemployment, lower family income and a generalized down grading of wellbeing and life conditions, people are engaging in new forms of collaboration and solidarity to address hardships in their livelihoods. While relations of care and mutual support are tackling the immediate effects of the crisis and making social reproduction possible, the drastic injunction of a sense of loss of autonomy often becomes an overwhelming weight. As a large part of the population cannot fulfill their basic needs and social responsibilities, we witness a widespread sense of personal failure, anguish and anger propagate as people feel the injustice of austerity policies, uncertainty characterizes the future which was previously foreseen as prosper and predictable. By focusing on the new regimes of care developed to overcome the challenges of a precarious present, and on the multiple ways by which austerity becomes embodied, I will further argue how austerity deeply transforms the constitutive processes of being a person.
care; cuidado;
  • Antropologia - Ciências Sociais

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