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W@TC: Balancing Life: The Moral Struggle of Family Care in Post-Disaster Fukushima


Jieun Cho

Since the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, many families have been grappling with the challenges of raising "healthy" children while living in risk-laden environments. Public discourses, largely focused on the biomedical risk of disease and mutation in "Fukushima children," often overlook the crucial role that family care plays in nurturing these children's health and well-being. Focusing on three mothers, this talk brings to the fore everyday dilemmas that caretakers encounter while negotiating norms of risk and health as they strive to remake their perceptions of and attachments to their children as well as their home environments: what I conceptualize as an ethical labor of "balancing." Against a backdrop of heightened attention to their children's biological vulnerability, the parents redefine embodying the uncertainty of radiation as a moral struggle, experimenting with alternative ways to imagine "health" in their children's everyday lives. The central tension revolves around whether radiation exposure is a transient health risk or an enduring alteration of family life. This event will be hybrid. Registration is required to join via Zoom. Light refreshments will be provided.


Asia focus, Climate, Ethics, Human Rights, Humanities, Lecture/Talk, Natural Sciences, Politics, Research, Social Sciences, Sustainability