Care consciousness: classed care and relational justice

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Title: Care consciousness: classed care and relational justice
Authors: Crean, Margaret
Advisor: Lynch, Kathleen
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Date: 2016
Abstract: This thesis is driven by a lived experience of inequality and by an academic interest in exploring the idea that love and care work is central to how social class inequality is lived and challenged. It is informed conceptually by the work on the affective system and love labour as primary care work by Lynch (1989; 2009; 2013) and the work of key feminist theorists that progressed ethics of care theory such as Gilligan (1982), Noddings (1984), Kittay (1998; 1999), Tronto (1993, 2001; 2013) and Held (2006). It also builds on research that shows how resource and class inequalities are inseparable from relational injustices in the lives of poorer women in society (Dodson, 2007; 2009). By placing the affective system as central to people’s experiences of class inequality, this thesis hopes to address a gap in sociological and egalitarian theory that neglects love and care when theorising social class inequality and egalitarian change. It presents issues of relational justice associated with the affective system as a generative rather than a derivative site of injustice.It examines in particular the contexts in which care and class intersect, exploring the negative impact of a classed-care system on personal well-being and on people’s care relations. It also examines the wider emotional and material inequalities experienced. These injustices are conceptualised as the hidden injustices of classed care. People’s shared knowledge and practices around love and care labour inform a care consciousness that plays a central role in how people engage and challenge these injustices. These concepts are generated initially through autoethnography and further contextualised and ‘tested’ with the stories and life experiences shared in ten interviews and two learning circles with other women living on low incomes, five of whom are community activists. The data generated suggests that the interconnectedness of the hidden injustices of classed care and people’s care consciousness is critical in how people can organise not only for economic justice but for relational justice and affective equality.
Type of material: Doctoral Thesis
Publisher: University College Dublin. School of Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice  
Qualification Name: Ph.D.
Copyright (published version): 2016 the author
Keywords: Affective equalityAutoethnographyCareInequalitySocial changeSocial class
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
Appears in Collections:Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice Theses

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