Body, Personhood and Care: Well-Being and Social Change in Post-Soviet Cuba

Funded by the Academy of Finland (grant number 294662), period: 1 September, 2016- 31 August, 2019

This project explores how large-scale structural changes shape ordinary people’s experiences of wellbeing. The study approaches wellbeing anthropologically by drawing on ethnographic evidence from Cuba, a country that is currently experiencing particularly drastic structural shifts as it moves from socialist egalitarianism towards a new order shaped by money and multiple inequalities. These changes significantly shape individuals’ experiences of wellbeing and ill-being. This research approaches wellbeing through a focus on individuals’ everyday experiences such as food, housing, health, care and social relations and pays particular attention to how they have shifted over Cuba’s recent history. This study combines anthropology with global health studies and gender studies to reject one-sided understandings of wellbeing. It shows that cultural values crucially shape people’s experiences of wellbeing and for this, understandings of wellbeing vary contextually.

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