CARE09001 2016 Care Work and Social Justice

General Details

Full Title
Care Work and Social Justice
Transcript Title
Care and Justice
100 %
Subject Area
CARE - Social Studies
SOCS - Social Sciences
09 - NFQ Level 9
10 - 10 Credits
Start Term
2016 - Full Academic Year 2016-17
End Term
9999 - The End of Time
majella mulkeen
Programme Membership
SG_WSOCI_M09 201700 Master of Arts in Social Care & Social Justice SG_WSOCI_O09 201700 Postgraduate Diploma in Arts in Social Care & Social Justice SG_WSOCI_M09 202100 Master of Arts in Social Sciences

For a seemingly innocuous and positive word, ‘care’ is a source of criticaltension in current social theory, policy and practice. For a seemingly innocuous and positive word, ‘care’ is a source of criticaltension in current social theory, policy and practice.Social Care professionals occupy the interface between the macro concerns of social justice and micro concerns of interpersonal relationships. Debate about social care and social justice has struggled with the relationship between the interpersonal emotional nature of care work and the concerns of social justice with a fair distribution of resources, personal help and social help; the micro and the macro. Care occurs in personal relationships and such resources benefit only some individuals, therefore care is unequally distributed. Society can enhance the availability of care so it compensates for this and other injustices through the provision of specific types of social services. However, if care is a matter of personal relationships how can society compensate collectively for the absence of such relationships in the lives of individuals? This module will address the complex issues involved in addressing this question.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module the learner will/should be able to;


Scrutinize the place of care relations within social justice theories, its neglect within mainstream policy and politics and the implications for social care practice


Critically assess the theoretical debates that have arisen from the con-ceptualization of care as a labour of love, and as a commodified activity (paid labour)


Understand the contribution of debates on the ethic of justice and the ethic of care and its relevance for social care policy and practice



Be able to apply the ethic of care as a tool for analysis in social care policy and practice


Assess the relevance of 'care' as a concept arising from debates between feminist and disability rights perspectives  and the issues arising for social care practice  

Teaching and Learning Strategies

This module will be taught on a part time basis in a blended learning format comprising in-class teaching and discussions and online lectures accompanied by independent study. There will be residential of 2.5 days of teaching and learning; Online lectures x 3 hours alternate weeks and independent study.

Module Assessment Strategies

There will be two modes of assessment in this module to provide learners with the opportunity to both demonstrate their understanding of key concepts and their ability to critically assess the contribution of such learning to an increased effectiveness and insight into the challenges faced in their specific work settings:

Presentation (50%) Learners will present an evaluation of their current work place policies and practices using an ethic of care as an analytic tool

Research Project (50%) Learners will develop a project portfolio examining their own professional development in terms of the scholarship presented in this module

Repeat Assessments

Repeat assignments will be in the form of presentation and project work as relevant

Indicative Syllabus

Introduction to three main strands in the scholarship of care and their application to relevant social care contexts. In this section we will examine conceptualisations of care as commodification, as social relations and as disposition, examining the work of feminist theorists in each of these fields

Analysis of inequalities in the affective sphere:  Here we will examine the links between affective inequalities and inequalities in the econmic, political and cultural spheres: the lack of scholarly attention to care given its pre-eminent importance for action in all other spheres and contemperory directions in care research using examples from sectors such as childrens residential care, social movements and elder care

Gender and Care Work: the centrality of gender as a structural category in any analysis of care and the implications of research for both gender equality and care recognition

Emotional labour and care: we will examine research on emotional labour/emotion work in relationally intensive work and the contribution of such insights to developing a theoretical framework for analysis fof social care work in a variety of settings

Reflect on the contribution of the ethic of care appraoch to analysis of care relations at an individual, organisational and policy context

Critically assess the contribution of care as a unit of analysis in social policy and how it has been used to mobilize workers across various sectors in relation to recognition and redistribution 

Asses the debates on care as a redundant concept form the disability rights perspective and the responses from a range of disability feminist perspectives.

Coursework & Assessment Breakdown

Coursework & Continuous Assessment
100 %

Coursework Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Using an ethic of care approach to evaluate care institutions Continuous Assessment Practical Evaluation 50 % Week 8 2,3,4
2 Professional development portfolio Project Project 50 % Week 12 1,2,5

Part Time Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Workload
Seminar Flat Classroom Practical Application 18 Once Per Module 1.20
Total Part Time Average Weekly Learner Contact Time 1.20 Hours

Online Learning Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Workload
Lecture Classroom Equipped for OLL. Substantive theoretical content 3 Fortnightly 1.50
Total Online Learning Average Weekly Learner Contact Time 1.50 Hours

Module Resources

Non ISBN Literary Resources

Baker, John and Kathleen Lynch (2012) “Inequalities of Love and Care and their Theoretical Implications”. Social Justice Series. School of Social Justice, University College Dublin Vol. 12(1):1-22.

Bubeck, Diemut E. (1995) Care, Gender, and Justice (Oxford: Oxford University Press).

Daly, M. ( 2002 ), Care as a Good in Social Policy, Journal of Social Policy,31:251 – 70.

Feeley, M. (2009) ‘Living in Care and without Love - the Impact of AffectiveInequalities on Learning Literacy’, in K. Lynch, J. Baker and M. Lyons, Affective Equality: Love, Care and Injustice (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan), pp. 199-215.

Finch, J. & Groves, D. (eds) (1983)A Labour of Love: women, work, and caring, London and Boston, MA: Routledge & Kegan Paul

Fine, M. ( 2005) Dependency Work. A critical exploration of Kittay’s perspective on care as a relationship of power, Health Sociology Review ,14 ,2:146 – 60.

Fine, M. and Glendinning, C. ( 2005 ), Dependence, independence or inter-dependence? Revisiting the concepts of ‘care’ and ‘dependency’, Ageing and Society, 25,4: 601 – 21.

Folbre, N. (2006) ‘Measuring Care: Gender, Empowerment, and the Care Economy’, Journal of Human Development 7: 183-99.

Gerstel, N. & S. Gallagher (2001) ‘Men’s Caring: Gender and the Contingent Character of Care’, Gender and Society 15: 197-217

Gilligan, C. (1982) In a Different Voice , Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Harrington-Meyer, M. (ed.) (2000) Care Work: Gender, Labor and the Welfare State , NewYork, NY: Routledge.

Hansen, K.V. (2004) ‘The Asking Rules of Reciprocity in Networks of Care for Children’, Qualitative Sociology 27: 421-37

Kittay, E. F. (1999) Love’s Labour. Essays on Women, Equality, and Dependency, New York, NY: Routledge

Kroger, T. (2009) Care research and disability studies: Nothing in common? Critical Social Policy ,29,3:398 – 420.

Lister, R. ( 1997) Citizenship: Feminist perspectives , Basingstoke: Macmillan.

Lloyd, L. (2000) Caring about carers: only half the picture? Critical Social Policy,20,1:136 – 50

Lynch, K. & M. Lyons (2008) ‘The Gendered Order of Caring’, in Ursula Barry (ed.), Where Are We Now? New Feminist Perspectives on Women in Contemporary Ireland. Dublin: New Island) pp. 163-84.

Lynch, K., J. Baker, M. Lyons and others (2009) Affective Equality: Love, Care and Injustice. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan

Morris, J. ( 1997 ) Care or Empowerment: A disability rights perspective, Social Policy & Administration,31,1:54 – 60.

Morris, J. (2001) Impairment and disability: Constructing an ethics of care that promotes human rights, Hypatia 16, 4:1 – 16

Oliker, Stacey J. (2000) ‘Examining Care at Welfare’s End’, in Madonna Harrington Meyer (ed.),Care Work: Gender, Class and the Welfare State (New York, London: Routledge), pp. 167-85.

Strazdins, L.& D. H. Broom (2004) ‘Acts of Love (and Work): Gender Imbalances in Emotional Work and Women’s Psychological Distress’, Journal of Family Issues 25: 356-78.

Slote, M. (2007) The Ethics of Care and Empathy, London: Routledge.

Tronto, J. (1993)Moral Boundaries: A Political Argument for an Ethic of Care , New York, NY: Routledge

Ungerson, C. ( 2005 ) Care, work and feeling,The Sociological Review ,53:188 – 203

Ungerson, C. and Yeandle, S. (eds) ( 2007) Cash for Care in Developed Welfare States ,Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan.





URL Resources

National Womens Council of Ireland website e.g. Lynch K.(2007)Sharing the Care Work available online at

Ethics of Care Website