This article argues that we are witnessing a fundamental transformation of capitalism. Under the auspices of an economic shift, social reproduction and constituent care and care work are undergoing a process of reorganization. The first part draws on Karl Polanyi’s analysis of the relation between market and society and on contemporary revisions of his approach. Referring to core arguments from his perspective on the market society it identifies processes of commodification, marketization and quasi-marketization, which we can understand as an economic shift driving the development in the field of care and care work. The second part refers to empirical studies in Austria and Germany and reflects in terms of a Polanyian double movement on how far care and care work – in the case of elder and child care and, more precisely, home care agencies, residential care communities and the social investment state – have become a contested terrain. The third part, the conclusion, points out how tendencies like the economic shift touch care and care work.
Current Sociology – SAGE
Published: Jul 1, 2018
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