Advertisement

Can a Crisis Become an Opportunity? Gender and Care in Contemporary Ireland

  • Brid Featherstone
Chapter
Part of the Children’s Well-Being: Indicators and Research book series (CHIR, volume 5)

Abstract

The profound difficulties facing Irish society have given rise to a questioning of past policy choices and led progressives to call for a new radically different Ireland to emerge (see, e.g., Kirby 2010). This chapter concentrates on an aspect of contemporary debates that is relatively neglected: the “care deficit” that has been apparent for some time. As NESC (2005, p. 36) noted, when large numbers of women remained in the home, the family was arguably the single most important pillar of Ireland’s national system of social protection. In a large number of instances, the care of young children, older people, and other household members with special needs hinged around the full-time presence of a fit and capable household member, usually a woman. Relatively, residual roles were played by the state and organisations in civil society and an even lesser one by commercial bodies. However, the rise in women’s employment rates from the 1970s onwards began to weaken this pillar of caring, and, during the 1990s, the rates jumped further to open a significant deficit between the diminished capacity of families to provide care and the development of new caring capacity on the part of the state, not-for-profit bodies, and commercial bodies.

Keywords

Lone Parent Irish Society Political Ethic Unpaid Care Celtic Tiger 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References

  1. Considine, M., & Dukelow, F. (2009). Irish social policy: A critical introduction. Dublin: Gill & Macmillan.Google Scholar
  2. Cooper, M. (2010). Who really runs Ireland? London: Penguin.Google Scholar
  3. CPA. (2007). Research on crisis pregnancy, parenting and employment policy. Dublin: Crisis Pregnancy Agency.Google Scholar
  4. Duvvury, N. (2011, April 14). Gendering the recession. Paper presented in a seminar at the National University of Ireland, Galway, Ireland.Google Scholar
  5. Fanning, B. (2007). The new welfare economy. In B. Fanning & M. Rush (Eds.), Care and social change in the Irish welfare economy (pp. 9–26). Dublin: UCD Press.Google Scholar
  6. Featherstone, B. (2004). Family life and family support: A feminist analysis. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  7. Featherstone, B. (2009). Contemporary fathering: Theory, policy and practice. Bristol: Policy Press.Google Scholar
  8. Gilligan, C. (1982). In a different voice: Psychological theory and women’s development. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  9. Harvey, D. (2005). A short history of neoliberalism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  10. Hayes, N., & Bradley, S. (2007). The childcare question. In B. Fanning & M. Rush (Eds.), Care and social change in the Irish welfare economy (pp. 163–179). Dublin: UCD Press.Google Scholar
  11. Ihle, J. (2010, October 10). We warned you: Critics of government proved right. Sunday Tribune, p. 50.Google Scholar
  12. Kelly, M. (2011, May 7). Ireland’s future depends on breaking free from bailout. The Irish Times, Retrieved from http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/opinion/2011/0507/122429372123.html. Accessed 11 Jan 2012
  13. Kirby, P. (2002). The Celtic Tiger in distress: Growth with inequality in Ireland. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.Google Scholar
  14. Kirby, P. (2006). The changing face of the Irish State: From welfare to competition state. In T. O’Connor & M. Murphy (Eds.), Social care in Ireland: Theory, policy and practice (pp. 112–125). Cork: CIT Press.Google Scholar
  15. Kirby, P. (2009). Contesting the politics of inequality. In D. Ging, M. Cronin, & P. Kirby (Eds.), Transforming Ireland: Challenges, critiques and resources (pp. 190–205). Manchester: Manchester University Press.Google Scholar
  16. Kirby, P. (2010). Celtic Tiger in collapse. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Leahy, P. (2009). Showtime: The inside story of Fianna Fáil in power. Dublin: Penguin.Google Scholar
  18. Lynch, K. (2010). From a neo-liberal to an egalitarian state: Imagining a different future. Dublin. Retrieved from http://www.tascnet.ie/showPagephp?ID=3138. Accessed 11 Jan 2012
  19. Lynch, K., & Lyons, M. (2008). The gendered order of caring. In U. Barry (Ed.), Where are we now? New feminist perspectives on women in contemporary Ireland (pp. 163–184). Dublin: New Island/TASC.Google Scholar
  20. McGinnity, F., & Russell, H. (2008). Gender inequalities in time use: The distribution of caring, housework and employment among men and women in Ireland. Dublin: The Equality Authority and the Economic and Social Research Institute.Google Scholar
  21. NCWI. (2010). Submission to budget, 2011. Dublin: National Women’s Council of Ireland.Google Scholar
  22. NESC. (2005). The developmental welfare state. Dublin: NESC.Google Scholar
  23. O’Toole, F. (2009). Ship of fools: How stupidity and corruption sank the Celtic Tiger. London: Faber and Faber.Google Scholar
  24. O’Toole, F. (2010). Enough is enough. London: Faber and Faber.Google Scholar
  25. Rake, K. (2009). Are women bearing the burden of the recession? London: Fawcett Society.Google Scholar
  26. Rush, M. (2007). The politics of care. In B. Fanning & M. Rush (Eds.), Care and social change in the Irish welfare economy (pp. 46–67). Dublin: UCD Press.Google Scholar
  27. Samaritans. (2010). Samaritans impact report for Ireland. Retrieved from http://www.icgp.ie/speck/types/article/print.cfm?app=icgp&id=038DO72F-19B9-E185-83. Accessed 11 Jan 2012
  28. TASC. (2009). The solidarity factor: Public responses to economic inequality in Ireland. Dublin: TASC.Google Scholar
  29. Williams, F. (2001). In and beyond new labour: Towards a new political ethics of care. Critical Social Policy, 21(4), 467–493.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Health & Social CareThe Open UniversityMilton KeynesUK

Personalised recommendations