The Economic Shift in Child and Elder Care: Conflicting Demands and the Logics of the Market, State, Profession, and Family

Tuesday, 17 July 2018: 10:30
Oral Presentation
Brigitte AULENBACHER, Johannes Kepler University, Austria
Fabienne DECIEUX, Johannes Kepler University, Austria
Birgit RIEGRAF, University of Paderborn, Germany
The paper shows how elder and child care is going along with changing demands, tasks, needs and forms of care provision. In the first part, it argues that the social reproduction and constituent care and care work are reorganized under the auspices of an economic shift in contemporary capitalism. In a Polanyian perspective on the relation between market and society this “movement” of marketization and quasi-marketization of care and care work can give a rise to “countermovements” of protection or protest in civil society. Neo-institutionalist and pragmatic perspectives as well as approaches of the sociology of care invite to investigate how these processes touch hitherto existing relations of care provision between the public and the private sphere and which role the logics of the market, state, profession, and family play. In the second part, referring to these research strands and to our empirical findings in Austria and Germany we discuss such a Polanyian “double movement” in the case of home care agencies, residential care communities and social investment policies. The studies shed light on contradictory and conflicting demands and the way how care provision is embedded in a new mixture of the public and the private, family and professional engagement, market principles and political regulation of the welfare state. Furthermore they show how conflicting demands in care provision are challenging the discussion about (in)equality and (in)justice, decent care and decent work in the field of care and care work. The third part discusses the Austrian and German case in the frame of a global sociology of care and care work showing how national, trans-, inter- and supranational dimensions of the reorganization of care provision are interwoven.