Emma Dowling: Caring in Times of a Global Pandemic. Introduction. [Abstract]

Caring in Times of a Global Pandemic investigates the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the measures to contain it in a cross-national perspective with regard to the areas of care, social reproduction, and affective security policies. The COVID-19 pandemic exacerbated an existing crisis across different unpaid and paid domains of care and social reproduction. It revealed just who exactly keeps life going by doing the jobs that no society can do without. The management of the pandemic relied on significant swathes of unpaid or underpaid care work without sufficient consideration of the conditions under which this work is carried out and without providing sufficient resources and support. Self-organised practices of care and mutual aid in the pandemic potentially pointed to the possibilities of more progressive or even radical care infrastructures, while public welfare, health, and social care systems were vital in responding adequately and inclusively to the pandemic. In the wake of the pandemic, a key question is how capitalist economies will adjust, and how the pandemic may act as a catalyst for change. This article introduces the topic and presents the individual contributions to the HSR Forum.

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