Transfers of Belonging
Erdmute Alber, University of Bayreuth
In Transfers of Belonging, Erdmute Alber traces the history of child fostering in northern Benin from the pre-colonial past to the present by pointing out the embeddedness of child foster practices and norms in a wider political process of change. She demonstrates that child fostering was, for a long time, not just one way of raising children, but was seen as the appropriate way of doing so. This changed profoundly with the arrival of European ideas about birth parents being the ‘right’ parents, but also with the introduction of schooling and the differentiation of life chances. Besides providing deep historical and ethnographical insights, Transfers of Belonging provides a new theoretical and conceptual frame for social parenting.