Care Talk Blog

by Ingrid Robeyns on May 20, 2008

“Nancy Folbre”:, who is widely considered to be one of the most knowledgeable economists on issues of care work, has recently started a new blog, called “Care Talk”: It’s a research blog that “aims”: to bring together interdisciplinary insights on issues of care — child care, care issues related to primary education, elder care, care for disabled, and health care. Care is a neglected issue in several disciplines and subdisciplines, including economics and political philosophy, and I can only applaud this initiative. I hope that this will become a genuine international blog — much can be learnt from looking at how care work is organised and divided in other countries.

Folbre published earlier this year her new book “Valuing Children”: which I have here on my desk. I promise our readers a review of that book sometime in June.



Witt 05.20.08 at 9:59 pm

Thank you for this quite interesting link. I am struck by Fobre’s contention that “care work involves a kind of exchange that typically changes the exchangers.”

I think this phrase explains some of reasons for the (significant) extent to which caregiving is disparaged and devalued in the office world. The ideal worker is focused, committed, and steady, unaffected by the tempests of corporate life. The worker who admits to being changed (on an interpersonal level) by his/her work is showing vulnerability, which is rarely seen as an optimal trait.

I’ve given all of a few minutes’ thought to this, so I don’t want to push it too far. But it is well reflected in my own experience, and perhaps in others’ too.


Ingrid Robeyns 05.21.08 at 6:45 am

witt, I think that’s a very pertinent thought. Sadly, most professional organisions (businesses but also other organisations) still have an image of a ideal worker as being care-free. Yet there is a great variety between countries, between sectors, and between organisations, which suggests that change is possible. But it’s going to take a long time, and smart and strategic thinking how best to get there (and there will be resistance, not just from the organisational authorities, but also from co-workers who embrace this ideal too).


Helen 05.23.08 at 12:57 am

I’m a bit sad that there are only two comments on this thread, because it’s such an important topic. But maybe I’m being too pessimistic. Perhaps it’s just quiet because people are rushing off to write to their MP or do some more reading and thinking :-)

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