What can we expect from paid carers?

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50 Citations (Scopus)


People in rich countries increasingly rely on paid workers to care for many of their health and personal care needs. We expect that, in most families, love or filial piety underpin caring relationships, and that these moral bonds ensure good quality care. If paid caring relationships are not underpinned by love, what moral bonds can they rely on? Exploring contract, professional duty, and compassionate gift as normative "resources" for good paid care, I conclude that we cannot expect paid carers to reproduce an idealized private sphere. Instead we can expect "good enough" care, supported by a range of normative resources.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33-54
Number of pages22
JournalPolitics and Society
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Care work
  • Compassion
  • Contract
  • Familialism
  • Norms
  • Professional duty


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