Care in an age of austerity: men’s care responsibilities in low-income families

Tarrant, Anna (2018) Care in an age of austerity: men’s care responsibilities in low-income families. Ethics & Social Welfare, 12 (1). pp. 34-48. ISSN 1749-6535

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Item Type:Article
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Abstract

Drawing on data from linked qualitative longitudinal studies, this paper considers the under-researched impacts of economic crisis and austerity on men with care responsibilities in low-income families. Recent debates indicate that recession and austerity provide the conditions for care arrangements in which fathers are more likely to engage in social reproduction, producing ‘caring masculinities’. In an austerity context that is permeating everyday life in the UK and producing significant hardships for citizens, however, care responsibilities are being further entrenched as the private responsibilities of individual families. The ‘responsibilisation’ of care as a result of processes of privatisation and individualisation produces numerous challenges for men that are evidenced in their discussions of their everyday caring practices. With reference to an ethics of care perspective and insights about the particular ways in which men with caring responsibilities are being affected by austerity, it is argued that processes of welfare reform and self-responsibilisation rely on men as individuals to rework their identities to reflect the values of care. The paper concludes that wider structural change and support for men to engage effectively and positively in care are required in order for these identities, and for men’s critical engagement in gender equality, to flourish.

Keywords:Men, caring responsibilities, poverty, austerity, hard times
Subjects:L Social studies > L300 Sociology
Divisions:College of Social Science > School of Social & Political Sciences
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ID Code:31258
Deposited On:14 Mar 2018 16:59

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