The Meaning of Care: The Social Construction of Care for by Bernhard Weicht

By Bernhard Weicht

Bernhard Weicht offers a multi-layered research of the way we comprehend and build care in way of life, the meanings it has for ourselves, our households, our relations, identities and our feel of society and what's correct and correct, making an unique contribution to the dialogue of the character of care ethics and its political strength.

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Sample text

Me: Who do you think has the [ . . ] responsibility to organise minding, care? Is it the family, is it society, is it the person herself? Ingrid: Yes, principally it’s based in the family of course. And [ . . ] that they arrange that with the relative, what she wants, because on that it’d depend, wouldn’t it? [ . . ] But, generally of course, the family is the first [ . . ]. Ida: So, especially the children, because at the end of the day the parents have also cared for the children, haven’t they?

You cared for your family, you know. Bea: I don’t think that’s expected now so much. Fran: Well, no, it doesn’t happen, I know. Bea: No, it doesn’t happen. Catherine: I think of course it’s the culture, isn’t it? Two people have to go out to work. This exchange includes a critical commentary about our modern-day (work) culture and its associated pressures and dynamics. Importantly, the frame of comparison is the natural arrangements, how they used to be. As mentioned above, the discursive construction of the notion of family as a loving bond of individuals who are committed to each Who Should Care?

In opposition to these family-related understandings, the second model Fitzpatrick (2008) discusses is the ‘Friendship Model’, which focuses more on independent actors. , 2002). Ungerson (1987: 94) describes family relations as a bond, which is ‘based more on willing and highly committed acceptance of an ideology of what family relationships should be like rather than on any particularly strong emotions’. An understanding of care built on trust, commitment, relationships and love can be interpreted as a protective cocoon that facilitates ‘ontological security’ (Giddens, 1991) and significantly affects the creation of identity.

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