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Mindfulness: A Politically Sensitizing Concept. Care and Social Sustainability as Issues

Part of the CSR, Sustainability, Ethics & Governance book series (CSEG)

Abstract

Mindfulness is introduced as a sensitizing concept not only in the organizational but also in the political realm, exemplified by issues of global sustainable development and care:

In the first part the ongoing epochal changes in the social organization of work are outlined with respect to their impact on gender relations in the context of globalisation. The second part describes the changes in the contemporary world of work as neglect of human needs and rights and as an expression of political mindlessness with regard to the function of care for human well-being and social cohesion of societies. Social sustainability is in danger when care responsibilities or activities are neglected, ignored or devalued. The third part discusses two recent political initiatives to overcome the neglect of the vital care activities on the basis of a new political mindfulness for sustainable social development: The new ILO-Convention 189 on Decent Work for Domestic Workers and the “Recommendations” of the EU-Social Platform for a Caring Society in Europe, both from 2011. The ILO-Convention 189 deals with employment conditions in the household under the perspective of rights at (paid) work, the other applies a broader perspective acknowledging the human rights character of care activities. The paper concludes with a reflection on the relationship between mindfulness in the political and in the organisational context.

Keywords

  • Social sustainability
  • Global care crisis
  • Political mindlessness
  • Sensitizing concept
  • ILO Convention 189
  • Decent work for domestic workers
  • Social Platform
  • Caring society
  • Spirit of Philadelphia

(forthcoming 2013 in. Guido Becke (ed.): Mindful change in times of permanent reorganization, (Springer International)

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Notes

  1. 1.

    See Gerhard (1979) with respect to the situation of women in Germany in the nineteenth century.

  2. 2.

    This is elaborated in Senghaas-Knobloch (2000).

  3. 3.

    They rely on a study of Hoffmann and Rodrigues (2010), who do not differentiate between unpaid family care and informal care as defined by the ILO.

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Senghaas-Knobloch, E. (2014). Mindfulness: A Politically Sensitizing Concept. Care and Social Sustainability as Issues. In: Becke, G. (eds) Mindful Change in Times of Permanent Reorganization. CSR, Sustainability, Ethics & Governance. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-38694-7_11

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