Care Economy and the New Contours of Inequality

Thursday, 19 July 2018: 11:45
Oral Presentation
Ito PENG, Department of Sociology, and School of Public Policy and Governance, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada, University of Toronto, Canada
The ascent of care economy may be both a boon and an adversity for women. On the one had it affirms the centrality of care in social and economic life and opens up much needed spaces for recognition, reclamation and revaluation women’s hitherto invisible and undervalued care work; on the other, it also comes with a great potential to create and intensify new forms of inequalities, between women, and across race, ethnicity and citizenship. This paper explores opportunities and challenges posed by the rise and expansion of care economy. The paper discusses how changes in culture, demography, and family and gender relations have contributed to the expansion of care economy, and how national policies have contributed to the different contours of inequalities. Using the example of China and Japan, the paper illustrates how changes in provisions, institutionalization and regulation of elder care work in the two countries have contributed to different forms of inequalities in the two countries.