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Gender and Caregiving

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Sally Shortall, Dr Regina Hansda


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As sociologists, we are interested in social patterns. The fact that women have been and remain the predominant caregivers is a persistent social pattern of interest to scholars of feminism, marriage and the family, the welfare state, labor markets, power, culture, and ideology. When we think of caregiving, we think about caring for young children, older people, and those who are ill. This, in other words, is the “care economy,” where caregiving can be informal or formal. Informal care is typically unpaid and carried out by family members and volunteers. Formal care is carried out by the welfare state and public and private services. Different welfare states have adopted measures to ensure it is possible to combine paid employment with care. Scholars have noted the gendered ideologies and assumptions that underpin welfare state regimes. One of the ways gender equality in labor market participation in many of the global north countries has been possible is because of gendered migration from countries in the south. Globalization of carework and the concept of “global chains of care” provides a useful explanation of the transnational linkages between northern societies with care deficits and women from poorer southern societies exporting their reproductive labor.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Shortall S, Hansda R

Publication type: Book Chapter

Publication status: Published

Book Title: The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Sociology

Year: 2020

Pages: 1-2

Print publication date: 22/04/2020

Acceptance date: 22/04/2020

Edition: 2nd

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


DOI: 10.1002/9781405165518.wbeos1451

Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 9781405124331