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Anticipating a Crisis: Creating a Market for Transnational Dementia Care in Thailand

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Caleb Johnston



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


We examine a “regime of anticipation” that has led mostly European entrepreneurs to build and manage new long-term care facilities situated around the city of Chiang Mai, Thailand, an emerging ‘hot spot’ in the relocation and provision of dementia care for an overseas clientele. Anticipations of crisis (and the explosive demand for dementia care) is exciting entrepreneurial imaginations in Thailand and, drawing on ethnographic field work and in-depth interviews, we examine how a transnational care market is being created and made to work. The owners and operators of these care facilities are experimenting with different care models and norms to create a transnational marketplace and to stretch the geographies of care. Yet dementia care is an inherently unstable commodity that might seem to resist outsourcing from the Global North to the Global South; as such, we pay close attention to the strategies deployed to try and stabilize the commodification of this most intimate labor. We detail how intimacy is constructed and circulated for dementia care to go global and the resources of trust required by owners and family members for this uneasy transnational economy to function.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Johnston C, Pratt G

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Annals of the American Association of Geographers

Year: 2022

Volume: 112

Issue: 7

Pages: 2064-2079

Online publication date: 05/05/2022

Acceptance date: 08/01/2022

Date deposited: 06/05/2022

ISSN (print): 2469-4452

ISSN (electronic): 1467-8306

Publisher: Routledge


DOI: 10.1080/24694452.2022.2041389


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