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The Care Crisis

The Care Crisis

What caused it and how can we end it? by Emma Dowling. Verso 2022

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What is care and who is paying for it?

Every one of us will need care at some point in life: social care, healthcare, childcare, eldercare. In the shadow of COVID-19, care has become the most urgent topic of our times. But our care systems are in crisis. Concern for the most vulnerable has been overtaken by an obsession with profits and productivity. How did we end up here?

In an era of economic turmoil, lower birth rates and increased life expectancy mean a larger proportion of the population than ever before is of retirement age. As a result, more people need care, and their numbers are rising. Yet, despite the demand, public services continue to be cut and sold off. Those most in need are left to fend for themselves.

In this groundbreaking book, Emma Dowling charts the multifaceted 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. The Care Crisis examines the ways that profitability and care are played off against each other, exposing the impacts of financialisation and austerity. Dowling charts the current experiments in short-term solutions now taking place.

In a new afterword, she examines the care crisis through the lens of the Covid-19 pandemic, revealing the devastating consequences of a collision between an ongoing care crisis and the coronavirus.

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