Mapping Care in the Era of Post Welfarism: An Interrogation of the Contemporary ‘Market' for Care Work in India

Tuesday, 12 July 2016: 10:15
Location: Hörsaal 33 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Deepali DUNGDUNG, Jawaharlal Nehru University, India
Care work, often defined by scholars as work that involves social reproduction has been the focus of much academic research in recent years. Healthcare, child care, care for the elderly and scores of other work that directly or indirectly contribute towards the development of human capital have led to the emergence of considerable scholarship in the social sciences. Some have focussed on gender, others on the welfare state, yet others on labour. Academic debates on care have impact, whether mediated or directly onto policy formulation. The labour market for care workers globally is dominated by women. The prevalence of women in paid care work is shaped by both historical and cultural factors. In more recent times, with new economic measures, care services have been particularly susceptible to market pressures such as low wages and poor social protection. One of the primary objectives of this paper is to map out the different trajectories in the conceptualisation of care as work. It shall attempt to historically situate the debates with a special focus on the current trend towards a retreat of the welfare state and the growing significance of the private sector. This entails analysing the different models of welfare states and adoption of different notions of care by them with a special emphasis on India. The following paper shall attempt to make a historical study of the genesis of welfare/caring state in India and its implications on gender equality. The study would critically assess the role of the Indian state in 1) guaranteeing institutional care to its citizens 2) regulating women's role as care providers. Further, the paper would discuss the conditions that characterise the contemporary market for care work in India and its linkages to the global relations of care giving.