Journal Article

Husbandry: a (feminist) reclamation of masculine responsibility for care

Julie A. Nelson

in Cambridge Journal of Economics

Volume 40, issue 1, pages 1-15
Published in print January 2016 | ISSN: 0309-166X
Published online August 2015 | e-ISSN: 1464-3545 | DOI:
Husbandry: a (feminist) reclamation of masculine responsibility for care

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While extremely important and revolutionary, much feminist work on the economics of care has risked reinforcing an association of care with only women and with only women’s traditional activities. This article revives the image of ‘husbandry’, understood as careful cultivation, tending and management, as a complement to the image of mothering. A rich masculine prototype of care may be helpful in re-awakening male responsibility for care, and revitalising the recognition of the necessity of concern and carefulness in all of economic life. The ‘good husbandman’, in stark contrast to ‘economic man’, lives a fuller life, acting responsively and responsibly. This article lays out the need for such a rich image; suggests applications to the environment, carework and business management; and addresses some possible drawbacks.

Keywords: Care; Masculinity; Gender; Husbandry; A13; B54

Journal Article.  7955 words. 

Subjects: General Economics ; Economic Methodology

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