Accepted Paper:

Care in times of crisis: men as caretakers of dependent people  

Authors:

Dolors Comas-d'Argemir (University Rovira i Virgili)
Montserrat Soronellas Masdeu (Rovira i Virgili University)

Paper short abstract:

The care crisis and the economic crisis force some men to take part in care jobs, paid or unpaid, as caretakers of dependent people. We discuss the impact of the participation of men in care work in terms of reducing gender inequalities, as well as facing the increasing care needs.

Paper long abstract:

This paper is focused on the incorporation of men in care work in the context of the care crisis and the economic crisis. The care crisis originates in the collapse of families in general and women in particular in their capacity to take care of adult dependant people. In Spain, this is specially linked to an 'ageing of ageing' that increases care needs. On the other hand, the economic crisis and the austerity policies have raised unemployment and poverty, worsened by the reduction of services and benefits for long term care. We suggest that this twofold crisis forces some men to take part in care jobs, paid or unpaid. In this scenario of economic and social crisis, the refamiliarization of care, the use of a poorly paid migrant labour force, and the expansion of commercial care services lead to a growth of social inequality. The most vulnerable sectors experience a double care crisis, since they experience more health problems; they cannot buy services in the market, have more difficulty maintaining employment, and become more impoverished in this process. Our argumentation is linked to the current qualitative and interdisciplinary research into this subject that we are conduction in Catalonia (Spain). In this paper, we discuss the impact of the participation of men in care work in terms of reducing gender inequalities, as well as facing the increasing care needs. Furthermore, we will analyse how the participation of men in caretaking affects its recognition and redistribution.

Panel P091
Cross-cutting care and care across cuts: dimensions of care in contexts of crisis and social change