The Social Construction of ‘Carers’
In this chapter we trace the dramatic history of this concept and attempt to explain how it has acquired its statutory status. There are two distinct threads to this history: that of pressure groups seeking to improve the situation of those looking after disabled and older people, and that of researchers and policymakers who have been concerned to develop the policies and practices of service and support agencies. Both interest groups have focused primarily on the policies of central government and have frequently collaborated. Nevertheless, as will become apparent, their distinct interests have also generated tension in the course of the category of carer being constructed and promoted.
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