Global Variations in the Political and Social Economy of Care: Worlds Apart

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Care work, both paid and unpaid, contributes to well-being, social development and economic growth. But the costs of providing care are unequally borne across gender and social class. Feminist scholarship on the gendered construction of welfare provisioning and welfare regimes has produced a conceptually strong and empirically grounded analysis of care, reinforcing the necessity of rethinking the distinctions between the public and the private as well as the links between them. Yet this analysis, premised on post-industrial contexts, does not travel easily to other parts of the world. Many of its core assumptions - about family structures, labor markets, state capacities, and public social provisioning - do not hold for a wider range of countries. Drawing on original research on the care economy in three developing regions (Africa, Asia, Latin America), this volume addresses a major empirical lacuna while facilitating a conversation across the North-South divide.