Edited by Juanita Elias and Adrienne Roberts
Chapter 27: Marketization, commodification and privatization of care services
This chapter considers the connections between commodified care, transnational capitalism and the neoliberal restructuration of the welfare state. Understanding care beyond feminized work and in terms of services and structures allows us to engage with the economy of care beyond the realm of the household. This is particularly important in an era of globally ageing populations. The authors first describe and define the processes of commodification and marketization of care. They illustrate these concepts with empirical examples from the Nordic welfare state, focusing on elderly care. They then elaborate through feminist economics how treating care as a market product is in many ways problematic. The chapter argues that the failure to take seriously the problems of commodified care in national social policies further increases the racialized and gendered hierarchies of the global care economy exposed by feminist economics and IPE.
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