Christine Sargent

Grant Type

Hunt Postdoctoral Fellowship

Institutional Affiliation

Colorado, Denver, U. of

Grant number

Gr. 10568

Approve Date

September 29, 2023

Project Title

Sargent, Christine (Colorado, Denver, U. of) "Kinship Futures: Motherhood and the Making of Down Syndrome in Urban Jordan"

Kinship Futures: Motherhood and the Making of Down Syndrome in Urban Jordan, uses the analytic of making to foreground how Down syndrome emerges through embodied practices of care. Informed by fieldwork with families, educators, therapists, activists, and policymakers in Jordan’s capital city of Amman, the book uses ‘making’ to situate both impairment and disability as intersubjective negotiations between kin, which transform over life course and historical time. The ethnography’s focus on mothers, who represent a key node for distributing labor in Jordan’s kinship-based and gendered care economy, creates a methodological entry point for exploring how patriarchy and ableism link kin through intimacy and hierarchy. Using Down syndrome as a lens, the project traces the normative structures of gender, sexuality, kinship, and class that shape the intertwined lives – and futures – of disabled and nondisabled kin. Dynamics of temporality and relationality weave through the ethnography and inform its structure, with the chapters mirroring the arc of a life course. I leverage this progression to show how families make Down syndrome as they age in and out of shifting kin roles, grappling with attendant expectations to give and receive care over time and under conditions of increasing political and economic pressure.