The Economic Shift and Beyond: Care As a Contested Terrain in Contemporary Capitalism (co-authored by Brigitte Aulenbacher, Fabienne Décieux, Birgit Riegraf)

Wednesday, 18 July 2018: 17:45
Oral Presentation
Fabienne DECIEUX, Johannes Kepler University, Austria
This paper argues that we are witnessing a fundamental transformation of capitalism in the Global North. 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 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 points out how local and global tendencies are interrelated and shows the societal relevance of the reorganization of care and care work.