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With the emphasis on children’s responsibility for the care of ageing parents, this study examined how Chinese adult children’s support provided to parents was associated with filial piety, support from parents and parent-child contact frequency. With the 2006 Chinese General Social Survey, we used structural equation modelling with 1,452 adults with two living parents and tested the model for sons and daughters separately. For both groups, the results showed that (1) filial piety was positively associated with emotional support provided to parents; (2) support received from parents was positively related to instrumental and emotional support to parents; and (3) parent-child contact frequency was linked to instrumental support. For adult daughters, financial support was positively associated with the support received from parents and negatively related to parent-child contact frequency. This study suggests that the traditional norm of filial piety may be less influential than other factors for adult children’s support behaviour.

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Author: Laurence Godin

In this article, I argue that care is a useful tool to think about consumption as embedded in social relations within and outside the market, and draw the consequences for moving towards sustainable lifestyles. To do so, I engage in a review of the literature that brings together consumption and care in its various forms. I review three main bodies of work: the literature on consumption that links care to consumer behaviour and consumption practices; the work addressing the commodifications of care and how it feeds in the neoliberal organisation of society; and the literature on climate change and the development of sustainable lifestyles. I close with a reflection on some lessons of care for academic researchers studying sustainability, consumption and a transition towards more sustainable and just societies.

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Author: Manuela Beyer

This article explores the interrelations between gender and fear, based on the hypothesis of sexual fear being produced as a feminised emotion in discourse. Empirical analyses of historically contingent constructions of sexual fears from 1961–2021 in the advice pages of the popular German youth magazine Bravo show how fear has been produced as a central technique governing feminine sexuality, by far surmounting the importance of either feminine love or desire. The results point to historically specific constructions of feminised sexual dangers, developing from premarital pregnancy in the 1960s, emotional suffering because of premature coitus in the 1980s and 1990s, to digitalised sexual practices in the 21st century. Feminised constructions of sexual risks and fears render feminine subjects as passive, vulnerable and in need of protection while simultaneously producing masculine subjects as actively sex seeking and potentially dangerous. The results also indicate that discursive delegitimisation of feminine sexual fear may equally contribute to re-establishing sexual inequality by pressuring girls to be sexually available. I argue, therefore, that it is not sufficient to analyse constructions of gendered subjects as being either fearful or fearless. Instead, the reconstruction of discursive model practices governing subjects to manage sexual fears is key to disentangling the complex nexus of gender and fear. The investigation of historical transformations of sexual fear discourses contributes to tracing both dynamics and continuities in gendered power relations, thereby illustrating the central role of fear in classic sociological research themes of inequality and power relations.

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Laurence Godin’s () piece is a very welcome and commendable attempt to provide a broader synthetisation of the current literature on care and consumption, and to generate some critical insights for future work in this area. I am drawing on Godin’s article to make some further observations. These are three-fold, pertaining to our current understandings of care, markets and consumption respectively.

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Authors: Mariana Pinho and Ruth Gaunt

This study draws on identity theory to explore parental and work-related identities by comparing primary caregivers and breadwinners. It examined how the salience and centrality of identities vary by gender and family role, and the relationships between identities and individuals’ involvement in paid work and childcare. A sample of 236 parents with young children completed extensive questionnaires. As hypothesised, primary breadwinners had more salient and central work identities than primary caregivers. However, there was no difference in parental identities, and within each role category, women had more salient and central work identities than men. Finally, the salience and centrality of parents’ work-related identities were positively related to time investment in paid work and negatively related to hours of childcare. These findings shed light on the complex relationships between family roles, gender and identities and emphasise the importance of distinguishing between identity salience and centrality as two components of self-structure.

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Author: Chizu Sato

This is a commentary on ‘Care and consumption’ (). I offer my commentary to push some of the author’s points a bit further.

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This research set out to investigate displaced women’s resilience and growth relationally, including relationships between displaced women and their children and how growth might extend to those working with displaced women. A unique relational, narrative and ethnographic approach demonstrated how processes of ‘reciprocal growth’ were constructed. Moving beyond previous concepts such as vicarious post-traumatic growth and ‘reciprocal resilience’, the unique finding of the research was women’s and volunteers’ co-construction of resilience and growth interpersonally and intersubjectively. ‘Othering’ narratives were dismantled through shared story and reciprocal human relationships, which allowed for a growthful connection between intra-psychic meaning making and wider community: linking what’s ‘within’ (I) to what’s ‘between’ (we). Consciously paying attention to reciprocal growth processes has empowering connotations for displaced women, those in relationship with them and society itself.

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The Independent Review of England’s agri-food systems, commonly known as the National Food Strategy (NFS), was commissioned by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) in 2019. The NFS report, published in two stages in 2020 and 2021, outlines a range of interventions and policy proposals to achieve better agri-food outcomes in terms of public health and environmental sustainability. This commentary focuses on the challenges associated with incorporating a diversity of voices within the NFS’s evidence base. To achieve this, the NFS mobilised a series of public dialogue events to capture lay perspectives. Led by professional facilitators, these events sought to open a deliberative space to explore the workings of agri-food systems, leading to the publication of a public engagement report in late 2021. While diverse views were recorded, the report found ‘a strong appetite for change’ among the participants, eager to address the problems associated with current agri-food systems. In commenting on the dialogue process, we identify three distinct problematics which arise from the NFS’s public engagement strategy. Firstly, we consider the array of subject positions at play in the report. Secondly, we discuss the ‘epistemologies of engagement’, reflecting on the different forms of knowledge that are enrolled through the process of public engagement. Thirdly, we consider the under-acknowledged politics that are at play in these kinds of public engagement exercises and the limits of ‘co-production’ as a methodological principle. We conclude by drawing out the wider (national and international) implications of this particular form of public engagement which aims to incorporate lay perspectives into policy development processes.

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