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Care Work, Gender Equality and Welfare State Sustainability

In this insightful collection, academic experts consider the impact of neoliberal policies and ideology on the status of care work in Nordic countries. With new research perspectives and empirical analyses, it assesses challenges for care work including technologies, management and policy-making.

Arguing that there is a care crisis even in the supposedly feminist Nordic ‘nirvana’, this book explores understandings of the care crisis, the serious consequences for gender equality and the hitherto neglected effects on the long-term sustainability of the Nordic welfare states.

This astute take on the Nordic welfare model provides insights into what the Nordic experience can tell us about wider international issues in care.

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these changes and their effects upon care. A convenient term that has emerged to describe these trends is ‘care crisis’. The ‘care crisis’ concept was first introduced two decades ago by US sociologists ( Phillips and Benner, 1994 ; Hochschild, 1995 ). The use of the term ‘crisis’ signals a derangement of matters, which can be thought of as relating to arrangements, decisions and beliefs ( Wolin, 1969 : 1080). While ‘care crisis’ can be seen as a useful shorthand for a wide gamut of trends, there are also risks in simply using a general, aggregate term and

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Introduction The aim of this chapter is to place Nancy Fraser’s care crisis concept in the Nordic welfare society context. Fraser has developed her discussion of the care crisis with a focus mainly on the Anglo-American model, that is, in societies very different from the Nordic welfare model regarding the organisation of reproductive work, gender equality policies and labour market regulation. In her broad framework, ‘crisis of care’ is ‘best interpreted as a more or less acute expression of the social-reproductive contradictions of financialised

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Care research does not take place in a vacuum, especially in the context of a global pandemic that has magnified the care crisis dynamics discussed in this book. Perhaps the COVID-19 crisis will actually give impetus to a more enduring, transformative restructuring of care and justice. And yet there is only limited room to reflect on these developments in the format of academic book chapters written mainly in the pre-COVID-19 period. How then can we make sure to position this book in its time, so that you, the reader engaging with our discussions, get a sense

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announced that they were investigating several complaints regarding deficiencies in elder care ( Valvira, 2019 ). Valvira’s lawyer described the situation in the first care home as an ‘acute crisis’, which is why it was closed down immediately ( Tiessalo, 2019) . The situation was described as a ‘care crisis’ by the media, expert commentators and opposition politicians as well as the Regional State Administrative Agencies ( AVI, 2020 ). Care crisis is understood here as referring to a situation in elder care that has reached a critical phase in relation to the quality

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The Politics of Everyday Life

What kinds of care are being offered or withdrawn by the welfare state? What does this mean for the caring practices and interventions of local activists?

Shedding new light on austerity and neoliberal welfare reform in the UK, this vital book considers local action and activism within contexts of crisis, including the COVID-19 pandemic.

Presenting compelling case studies of local action, from protesting cuts to children’s services to local food provisioning and support for migrant women, this book makes visible often unseen practices of activism. It shows how the creativity and persistence of such local practices can be seen as enacting wider visions of how care should be provided by society.

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Introduction The care crisis arises from the contradictions between the capitalist society’s dependence on social reproduction (caring) and mechanisms in capitalist organisations that undermine the very reproduction on which they depend ( Fraser, 2016 ). Work organisations can in their quest for profit, legitimacy or efficiency, be organised in ways that hamper the combination of childcare and paid work for parents, or self-care for employees. This happens despite the fact that organisations themselves rely on well-functioning labour power premised by

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A New Road to Reform

What lies behind England’s crisis in adult social care, why has real change been so hard and what can be done?

Ensuring effective, sustainable and affordable care and support for people of all ages is an urgent public policy challenge. This vital book outlines a different vision of social care as an essential part of the country’s economic and social infrastructure that enables people to live good lives.

Drawing on the history of social care, international comparisons and lived experience, it sets out a different road to reform that will secure political traction and public support for change.

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‘performed’ within the state or private institutions. By institutions we refer to conglomerations of practices in process (Bacchi and Rönnblom, 2014 ). The discussions in this book develop around the theoretical questions of what constitutes a care crisis, whether it can be expanded beyond its original application into a different context and rethought; a methodological question of its operationalisation (how to investigate it), and an empirical question about the justification of talking about a care crisis in the Nordic welfare states. Finally, we discuss the major

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nurses as both exemplary and indicative of dimensions of a broader ‘care crisis’ in the context of health care in the reformed public ‘patient safety friendly hospitals’ of the Nordic welfare state. Conceptualising a crisis of care and its drain on human capacity and qualifications Theoretically, we base the discussion on three conceptual inspirations. First, the understandings of practitioners (the newly qualified nurses [NQNs] that are focus in this chapter) as knower s of their actual working condition, and experts of their everyday activities, work

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