Care and caring: challenge, crisis or opportunity?

SusanMYeandle

Sue Yeandle

As the first issue of the International Journal of Care and Caring publishes, Sue Yeandle, Editor-in-Chief, highlights the global space that care now occupies and introduces the journal as a new forum where world-class knowledge about care, caring and carers can be shared.

Issue 1 of the International Journal of Care and Caring is free to access on Ingenta until 30 April.

“From Nairobi to Tokyo, Sydney to Bogota, Montreal to Stockholm and Gdansk to Glasgow – and beyond – care is more visible than ever, and an issue of growing importance all over the world. It is central to human life and relations. It underpins the world’s health, employment and welfare systems. It affects every family and human being on the planet.

“In all its horror, glory and daily realities, care touches us at every level.”

In all its horror, glory and daily realities, care touches us at every level: in the most personal of our human relations; in ordinary, yet intimate, everyday tasks; in the dramas and crises of our lives; in budgets and policy programmes; in technological innovations and workplace organisation; and in the varied circumstances of frailty, impairment, illness, dependency and need which affect us all. In time, most of us will find we need both to give, and to receive, care.

Care is that rare topic: a concern in almost every family worldwide; an increasingly traded service and growing source of (low) paid (and precarious) employment; a headache and a source of pride for communities, governments and administrators worldwide; a focus of growing international collaboration across cultures, among NGOs and governments, and in the geographically separated (but linked) lives of countless diasporic families.

In care and caring, the world faces, at every level, an unprecedented challenge. Global data reveals, almost everywhere, more people who are very old; more needing care and support; more with impairments and illness; more living longer lives, which – with the right support – could be meaningful and satisfying, if only our systems, communities, suppliers and families could find the resources to cope.

“Is this a looming crisis – or an extraordinary opportunity to reappraise ways of living, thinking and organising?”

Is this a looming crisis – or an extraordinary opportunity to reappraise ways of living, thinking and organising? By pooling our knowledge, research findings, resources and experiences, could we create more meaningful ways of caring and of being, through supportive systems, relationships, technologies, practices, entitlements and rights? What if we could establish agreed ethical frameworks for care and empowering practices delivering dignity and wellbeing?

International journal of care and caring [FC] - smallIn bringing the new International Journal of Care and Caring to fruition, an international group of scholars, in dialogue with policy makers, practitioners, campaigners and innovators, aims to turn these universal concerns, and the endeavours of researchers worldwide, into a new forum where world-class knowledge about care, caring and carers can be shared. Exploiting the growing international evidence base on this topic, they will explore new data, knowledge and methods, on: ‘receiving’ and ‘giving’ care and caring relationships; the ethics and moral philosophy of care; the potential and limitations of care technologies and of familial, workplace and community practices; and the scope for integration between local, national and international arrangements for managing relevant policy fields: health, welfare, care, pensions, employment, families, migration.

IJCC will be distinctive, aiming unremittingly for global reach, international impact and world-class research. It will seek out scholars who can envisage new research agendas, synthesise extant knowledge, break new boundaries, share methodological innovations and challenge theoretical orthodoxies. Its unique platform for global communication about care and caring will keep up-to-date with global scholarship, encouraging reviews of books and substantial reports from around the world which speak to the journal’s international agenda, and reporting on debates and developments at international conferences where care is the focus of debate.

Take a look: in Issue 1, you will find Joan Tronto’s argument that ‘there is an alternative’, through a focus on care, to the current neo-liberal agenda. You will read Phyllis Moen and Nicole de Pasquale’s inspiring forward agenda for research on family care work. You will learn about workplace support for working carers in Japan; how time-use data can be exploited to enhance understanding of strains in carers’ lives; and the troubling connections between care and violence, and how these might be tackled. You will find dialogue between Swedish and UK thinkers about ‘working longer, caring harder’; learn how a carers’ organisation engaged with policy developments in Taiwan; and how a co-design approach to policy making with carers was pioneered in Australia. You will also read about new scholarship on care and caring in recent US, UK and Latin American publications, and gain insight into the extraordinary International Carers’ Conference, which met last in Sweden and is now preparing its 7th inspiring gathering in Australia.

“Long overdue, exciting, timely and significant… will bring a new level of scholarship and attention to issues facing our humanity for the future.”

Distinguished scholars, across disciplines, have advised that the International Journal of Care and Caring is ‘long overdue’, ‘exciting’, ‘timely and significant’; and will ‘bring a new level of scholarship and attention to issues facing our humanity for the future’. I hope you will agree.

International journal of care and caring [FC] - smallIssue 1 of the International Journal of Care and Caring is free to access on Ingenta until 30 April.

For more information about the journal, visit the website

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