Carefair: Rethinking the Responsibilities and Rights of Citizenship

We often think of care as personal or intimate, and citzenship as political and public. In Carefair, Paul Kershaw urges us to resist this private/public distinction, and makes a convincing case for treating caregiving as a matter of citizenship that obliges and empowers everyone in society. Carefair has its roots in the rise of duty discourses - in neoliberalism, communitarianism, the thrid way, social conservatism, and feminism - that advocate renewed appreciation for obligations in civil society. The convergence of these discourses, Kershaw argues, signals the possibility for political compromise in favour of policies that will deter men from free-riding on female care. The author invites readers to rethink the role of care duties and entitlements in their daily lives, in public policy, and in debates about social inclusion. He provides a detailed blueprint for more public investment in work-family balance, and recommends amendments to Canadian parental leave, child care, and employment standards that would collectively form a caregiving framework analogous to workfare.