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Welfare Reform on the Web (August 2011): Social care - overseas

Care ethics: new theories and applications. Part 2

C. Koggel and J. Orme (guest editors)

Ethics and Social Welfare, vol. 5, 2011, p. 107-224

In the first special issue on care ethics it was argued that the ethic of care had expanded in its academic and theoretical scope and also in its application to personal, public and political relationships. In this second special issue, the interconnections among those relationships are explored in more detail. The application of care ethics is examined with respect to service personalisation, carers with learning disabilities, foster care, residential child care, services for people with dementia, and HIV/AIDS informal caregivers in Botswana.

The moral economy of domestic and care labour: migrant workers in Naples, Italy

L. Näre

Sociology, vol.45, 2011, p. 396-412

Italy provides an interesting case for the study of relationships between markets, family and the welfare state due to its weak welfare state, strong informal economy and recent extensive influx of migrant care workers. This article examines the case of Naples as a site where relatively inexpensive migrant labour has become the backbone of welfare services. Live-in care work involves highly personalised labour relationships, which resemble family relationships and are characterised by maternalism. This article offers an analysis of such employer-employee relationships as a form of moral economy based on notions good/bad, just/unjust rather than on economic profit maximisation. It argues that this moral economy is not always perceived negatively by the migrant workers and that many feel that being treated like part of the family represents the best possible work relationship.

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