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Digital Technologies for Remote Care 

What happens to care for the parents when their children migrate? How are health crisis such as stroke and accidents dealt with in transnational families? And how can digital technologies like mobile phones and the Internet collapse, or not, the distance between family members?


To tackle these and other related questions I carried out ethnographic fieldwork in Kerala, India, and I followed transnational families of Kerala nurses around the world.

My book Calling Family, resulting from my research, explores how families tinker with smartphones and social media to establish what care at a distance could be and how it should be done to be considered good. Through the notion of transnational care collectives, this book uncovers the subtle workings of digital technologies on care across countries and continents when being physically together is not feasible.

Calling Family is forthcoming in August 2023, Rutgers University Press. 



2021 General Division Anthropology (GAD) Prize for Exemplary Cross-Field Scholarship,  Honorable Mention, American Anthropological Association.

2019 The Jacob Climo Award, Association of Anthropology, Gerontology and the Life Course.


2019 Best PhD pitch award, Amsterdam Institute of Social Science Research.

2016 Graduate Student Paper Prize, awarded by Science, Technology and Medicine special interest group of the Society of Medical Anthropology, American Anthropological Association.

In episode 1 Medical Anthropologist Tanja Ahlin from the University if Amsterdam explores the phenomenon of transnational elder care. What happens to care for parents when their children migrate? And how can mobile phones and Skype bridge, or not, the distance between family members?

The podcast AN AGING WORLD is produced by Harm van Atteveld en Josien de Klerk for Leiden University College © 2020.


For a glimpse into this research, read my blog posts:


TransGlobalHealth, Erasmus Mundus Program, Educational, Audiovisual & Culture Executive Agency (EACEA) of the European Commission, PhD Grant, extended by AISSR, UvA.

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