Constructions of care: the family, difficulties and policy

Liz Forbat

in Talking about care

Published by Policy Press

Published in print January 2005 | ISBN: 9781861346216
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781447303671 | DOI:
Constructions of care: the family, difficulties and policy

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This chapter presents a critical review of the care literature, and suggests that there is a need to embrace complexity in grappling with understandings of care. It critiques the traditional polarisations upheld in the literature around care/abuse and carer/caree. The chapter develops a case for care and abuse to be understood as potentially coexisting components of family interactions. The first section focuses on the language and labels of care relationships, questioning the way that the literature has traditionally polarised aspects of care – particularly around the positions of care/abuse and carer/caree. The chapter concludes with a summary of how social constructionist attention to language can further understandings of family care. It develops theoretical assertions regarding themes of care and abuse, alongside the significance of language in research, professional practice, and day-to-day communication. The chapter highlights the importance of understanding how care relationships are put into words and discoursed into being.

Keywords: care literature; care abuse; family interactions; care relationships; social policy; informal care; family care; social constructionism

Chapter.  14661 words. 

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