The Handbook of Diverse Economies
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The Handbook of Diverse Economies

Edited by J. K. Gibson-Graham and Kelly Dombroski

Economic diversity abounds in a more-than-capitalist world, from worker-recuperated cooperatives and anti-mafia social enterprises to caring labour and the work of Earth Others, from fair trade and social procurement to community land trusts, free universities and Islamic finance. The Handbook of Diverse Economies presents research that inventories economic difference as a prelude to building ethical ways of living on our dangerously degraded planet. With contributing authors from twenty countries, it presents new thinking around subjectivity and methodology as strategies for making other worlds possible.
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Chapter 16: Caring labour: redistributing care work

Kelly Dombroski

Abstract

A diverse economies approach to examining care work allows us to pay attention to the multiple and complex forms of ‘compensation’ and motivation that compel us to perform this labour. While some of this care work is compensated in wages, much of it is performed in a mixture of complex class processes with a complex range of motivations. The question, then, is not only how do we recognize what motivates and perhaps compensates this important care work but also how do we redistribute the labour of caring more equitably across gender, class, race and even species boundaries. The chapter examines two examples of this recognition and redistribution of care work: the care work of parents using ‘elimination communication’ as an infant hygiene practice, and the care work of the more-than-human in an urban farm aimed at increasing youth mental well-being.

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