Emma Dowling: The Care Crisis: What Caused It and How Can We End It?

1st edition. London; New York: Verso, 2021, 256 pages, ISBN 9781786630346

  • Tereza Butková Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic


What is care and who is paying for it?

Valuing care and care work does not simply mean attributing care work more monetary value. To really achieve change, we must go so much further.

As the world becomes seemingly more uncaring, the calls for people to be more compassionate and empathetic towards one another—in short, to care more—become ever-more vocal. The Care Crisis challenges the idea that people ever stopped caring, but also that the deep and multi-faceted crises of our time will be solved by simply (re)instilling the virtues of empathy. There is no easy fix.

In this groundbreaking book, Emma Dowling charts the multi-faceted nature of care in the modern world, from the mantras of self-care and what they tell us about our anxieties, to the state of the social care system. She examines the relations of power that play profitability and care off in against one another in a myriad of ways, exposing the devastating impact of financialisation and austerity.

The Care Crisis enquires into the ways in which the continued off-loading of the cost of care onto the shoulders of underpaid and unpaid realms of society, untangling how this off-loading combines with commodification, marketisation and financialisation to produce the mess we are living in. The Care Crisis charts the current experiments in short-term fixes to the care crisis that are taking place within Britain, with austerity as the backdrop. It maps the economy of abandonment, raising the question: to whom care is afforded? What would it mean to seriously value care?

Author Biography

Tereza Butková, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic

Tereza Butková is a student of Security Studies at the Faculty of Social Sciences at Charles University. She underwent an internship at the Institute of International Relations in Prague as a Research Assistant and spent a semester at the Grenoble Institute of Political Studies. Besides this, she contributes to the weekly supplement “Salon” of the daily Právo and to the news server iROZHLAS.cz. She also participates in the production of a podcast for the Žižkovská noc festival.

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