by Dowling, Emma / Gender Studies
Published 26 Jan 2021 by Verso in the UK
Hardback 256 pages
Valuing care and care work does not simply mean attributing care work more monetary value. To really achieve change, we must go further. In this groundbreaking book, Emma Dowling charts the multi-faceted nature of care in the modern world, from the mantras of self-care and what they tell us about our anxieties, to the state of the social care system.
She examines the relations of power that play profitability and care off in against one another in a myriad of ways, exposing the devastating impact of financialisation and austerity. As the world becomes seemingly more uncaring, the calls for people to be more compassionate and empathetic towards one another – in short, to care more – become ever-more vocal. The Care Crisis challenges the idea that people ever stopped caring, but also that the deep and multi-faceted crises of our time will be solved by a simply (re)instilling the virtues of empathy.
There is no easy fix. The Care Crisis enquires into the ways in which the continued off-loading of the cost of care onto the shoulders of underpaid and unpaid realms of society, untangling how this off-loading combines with commodification, marketisation and financialisation to produce the mess we are living in. The Care Crisis charts the current experiments in short-term fixes to the care crisis that are taking place within Britain, with austerity as the backdrop.
It maps the economy of abandonment, raising the question: to whom care is afforded? And what would it mean to seriously value care?