Handbook on Gender and Social Policy
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Handbook on Gender and Social Policy

Edited by Sheila Shaver

Providing a state of the art overview, this comprehensive Handbook is an essential introduction to the subject of Gender and Social Policy. Bringing together original contributions and research from leading researchers it covers the theoretical perspectives of the field, the central policy terrain of gender inequalities of income, employment and care, and family policy. Examining gender and social policy at both the regional and national level, the Handbook is an excellent resource for advanced students and scholars of sociology, political science, women’s studies, policy studies as well as practitioners seeking to understand how gender shapes the contours of social policy and politics.
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Chapter 12: Care policies for children and adults in high-income countries

Mary Daly


Care provides societies with one of their greatest challenges. This has never been more true than in the current period when the need for care – on the part of both children and adults – is growing at the same time as austerity-orientated politics are effecting cut-backs in pubic spending and provision. Both the policy architecture and the provision of care are being transformed. This chapter takes stock of the two fields, care policies for children and those for frail older people (usually referred to as long-term care). The chapter’s intent is to: (1) identify the main trends and orientations in each of the two policy domains and (2) consider the gender orientations and impact of policies and their reform. The chapter is organized into three parts. The first reviews the literature on the study of care policies, with particular attention to frameworks that seek an integrated approach (that is, that treat policies for the care of children and older people together). The second part focuses on relevant policy trends and the associated driving motivations (drawing attention to the wide range of and potentially contradictory objectives of each policy field individually and also the two together). The third part considers the type of gender ideologies that underlie the policy trends and the implications for women and men, especially in the context of employment and family patterns.

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