The concept of place has become fertile ground for sociological investigations, yet it is still undertheorized and in need of further development. Its most advanced employment is to be found within a sociological agenda on materialities of care and health architecture. In this article, we build on this work to conceptualize ‘placed care’ and to show how ecologies of care are produced and maintained through care infrastructures. The article investigates the case of an illegal baby foundling room in the Netherlands, where one may abandon one’s infant anonymously. We conceptualize this place, continuously produced through its care infrastructures, as ‘place-by-proxy’: a place that allows, by virtue of simply being there, for the animation of infrastructures around it. With this concept, we advance discussions on places as bounded and open, pointing to the work and consequences of ‘binding’ place and opening up the concept for further application to various sociological concerns, particularly in healthcare.

Additional Metadata
Keywords care infrastructure, ecologies of care, foundling, place, place-by-proxy
Persistent URL,
Journal The Sociological Review
Ivanova, D.V, Wallenburg, I, & Bal, R.A. (2019). Place-by-proxy: Care infrastructures in a foundling room. The Sociological Review. doi:10.1177/0038026119868642