AbstractIn this article, we examine the ways elder care generates political belonging. Our approach builds on studies which argue that nurture and care create kinship, but takes that argument further by suggesting that care generates membership in numerous social formations, across scales. We suggest that elder care helps illuminate key aspects of political belonging, particularly the temporality of political membership, because elder care entails mutuality and reciprocity over a long period of time. In addition, elder care is an interactive process in which older persons, their caregivers, the state, and other actors negotiate modes of political belonging that entail affect as well as rights. Furthermore, elder care has been used to construct representations of ‘modern’ and ‘traditional’ families which are ideologically connected to particular political formations. These representations generate difference and ‘Othering’ of internal and external populations. Ultimately, we argue that a focus on elder care collapses domains usually kept artificially separated, like kinship and the state, and private and public, in ways that are productive for social analysis as a whole.