PurposeThe starting point of the paper is the meteoric rise of care and care work upon the societal and sociological agenda. Referring to Polanyi, the authors argue that this is the manifestation of a new phase of capitalist societalisation (Vergesellschaftung) of social reproduction in the form of an economic shift. The purpose of this paper is to discuss the societal organisation of care and care work and questions of inequality and justice.Design/methodology/approachThe first part of the paper illustrates some facets of the economic shift in the field of care and care work. The second part reconstructs the societal organisation of care and care work in the private sector, state, third sector and private households from the mid-twentieth century in the context of questions of inequality and justice. The third part draws on the institutional logics perspective and French pragmatic sociology and the own case studies on home care agencies (HCA), residential care communities (RCC) and early child care (ECC) in Austria and Germany and shows how conflicting demands give rise to new questions of justice. The paper ends with a short conclusion.FindingsThe paper shows how the commodification and de-commodification of care and care work have changed over time and how the economic shift – illustrated in the case of HCA, RCC and ECC – is accompanied by conflicting demands and questions of justice.Originality/valueA Polanyian perspective on the relation between market and society is combined with the neo-institutionalist and pragmatic idea that orientations rooted in the “logics” of the market, the state, the family and the profession influence how conflicting demands in elder and child care are dealt with and how questions of inequality and justice arise.
Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal – Emerald Publishing
Published: May 21, 2018
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