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Family care work: a policy-relevant research agenda

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This article addresses the need for policy-relevant research agendas on family care in transaction with formal care and public as well as organisational norms and policies in light of the crisis in caregiving for older adults. We propose a combined institutional and life-course theoretical approach, suggesting seven ways of organising scholarly enquiry to promote understanding of the changing nature of family care in the 21st century, inform policymakers' efforts at supporting family caregivers and improve caregivers' and care recipients' quality of life. These include: (1) moving beyond snapshots of individuals; (2) conducting comparative cross-cultural and crosscohort analyses; (3) documenting social heterogeneity, vulnerability and inequality; (4) capturing individuals' and families' adaptive strategies and cycles of control during the caregiving process; (5) investigating policy innovations and natural experiments; (6) assessing third parties as mediating institutions between regulatory environments and caregiving families; and (7) attending to the subjective meanings of care.
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Keywords: CARE WORK; CONTEXT; POLICY; PROCESS

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Email: [email protected] 2: Email: [email protected]

Publication date: 2017-03-01

More about this publication?
  • The International Journal of Care and Caring (IJCC) is a new multidisciplinary journal designed to advance scholarship and debate in the important and expanding field of care and caring. Multidisciplinary and international in scope, it publishes high quality contributions on care, caring and carers from all regions of the world. IJCC has a broad focus, covering care and caring for people of any age who have long-term conditions, disabilities or frailties, or who are seriously ill or near the end of life. It explores the economic, organisational, political, social, legal, familial, transnational and ethical settings in which this care occurs.

    IJCC is concerned with care provided as paid work and as support for family members, friends or neighbours; with care in home, community and residential settings; and with formal and informal care relations, organisation, systems and markets. It focuses on 'receiving' and 'giving' care and on the gendered nature and social, political, legal and economic status and circumstances of care and caring. It debates the support needed in localities, workplaces and health systems to make care and caring feasible and rewarding for carers and dignified and supportive of independence for care recipients. IJCC welcomes contributions on caring relationships, the ethics and political economy of care, care as a focus of moral philosophy and feminist analysis and care and caring as sources of claims-making and challenge and as the spur for national and global social movements.

    The journal encourages critical engagement with policy and practice developments and aims to include contributions from different areas of the world in each edition. Its regular Debates and Issues section features dialogue with carers’ organisations, policymakers, trade unions, employers and academics, to encourage global dialogue and international sharing of ideas, expertise and experience.

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