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Please see below for a call for papers for an exciting international conference to be held at the University of Brighton in September 2012:
ADVANCING AN ETHIC OF CARE IN
THEORY AND PRACTICE
A conference hosted by the Care, Health and Well-being research group, School of Applied Social Science
University of Brighton
Thursday 13th and Friday 14th September 2012
Confirmed Plenary Speakers:
Joan Tronto, Professor of Political Science, University of Minnesota, Author of 'Moral Boundaries'
Ingunn Moser, Professor of Sociology and Dean in the Department of Nursing and Health Care, Diakonhjemmet University College, Oslo. Joint editor of 'Care in Practice'
Marian Barnes, Professor of Social Policy, University of Brighton. Author of 'Caring and Social Justice'
Care has been and remains a contested concept. The notion of 'critical care' reflects the way in which:
· Ethic of care scholars and practitioners have highlighted the critical place of care in ensuring survival, well-being and social justice.
· Care has been subject to critique for being oppressive, paternalistic and at odds with disabled people's struggle for citizenship.
· Care is a political as well as personal issue.
· There are example of what are nominally 'care services' being revealed to be anything but caring. Criticisms of what is called 'care' reveal the necessity for a critical analysis of how and why poor practice and abuse continues.
The pursuit of a positively critical approach to both the theory and practice of an ethic of care is timely. This conference is designed to stimulate and develop a growing body of scholarship and practice wisdom challenging the dominance of neo-liberal thinking that has relegated care values to a marginal position. It reflects enduring evidence of the importance of care in people's everyday lives and in policy making.
Evidence of the growing interest in an ethic of care is evident in two recent special issues of Ethics and Social Welfare on this topic, and a similar special issue of Nursing Ethics. From its origins in Gilligan's work in psychology, care ethics has been developed from many perspectives across 'pure' and 'applied' disciplines: moral and political philosophy; women's studies; social policy; education; nursing; social work and others. One of the exciting things about an ethic of care is its capacity to engage with profound questions of ontology, as well as to offer helpful ways of thinking about 'hands on' care across diverse practice contexts.
This conference is designed to bring together those whose starting points may be very different, but who share an interest in developing work that can promote critical thinking about care.
We are thus inviting contributions from any discipline, and which are based in practice knowledge, empirical research, policy or philosophical analysis, that address the following themes:
Care and control?
The tension between care and control within welfare systems is an enduring one, perhaps with a rather different twist in a context where service users are encouraged to exercise choice and control over the services they receive. How can 'care' be practiced in situations where people are subject to formal controls - such as when they are compulsorily detained in hospital, when they are in prison, when they are subject to community orders? What insights can an ethic of care offer to this?
Care by and amongst service users
Dividing the world into care givers and care receivers is not helpful. But this distinction has contributed to a rejection of care from some who have resisted being cast as 'recipients of care'. Others have welcomed the opportunity to show that they can give as well as receive care. In this theme we want to consider work that questions assumptions of distinct identities based on giving or receiving care.
What is the relationship between care for ourselves and care for others? Does the increasing emphasis on self care in policy and practice have implications for how we care for others? Do some people's responsibilities for the care of others have implications for how far they can engage in self care, and how is gender implicated in this? How might an ethic of care perspective contribute to our understanding of the challenges posed by the contemporary imperative to self care?
A political ethic of care focuses not only on intimate relationships, but on the contexts in which care is given and received. Care workers are often poorly paid and little attention is given to their needs for care. Is care possible if there is no evidence of it in the way work is organized, supported and remunerated? How can ethical practice be promoted within welfare organizations?
Care for strangers
Is intimate knowledge of another necessary to care? Can we care for people we never meet, who we only encounter fleetingly, or we never meet face to face? Many aspects of contemporary life, from migration, to increasing use of ICT, mean that encounters with strangers are more frequent and may be more significant. Does an ethic of care have anything to offer to such encounters?
Family and/or friends
The family has always been seen as the location in which most personal care is given and received. But families are diverse and close relationships are not always kin relationships. Can recent work on reviewing and rethinking families contribute to a development of care ethics through understanding how care works in diverse intimate contexts?
Care, place and space
People care about the places they live in and may feel uncared for if those places are not looked after. How can we develop an ethic of care that encompasses people's relationships in and with place and space as well as with other people?
Care and technology
Technologies have been heralded by some as enhancing the potential for the personalization of care. Others see technologies as depersonalizing care. How are technologies enrolled in processes of care? How are technologies experienced by care givers and receivers in different care contexts? How far can an ethic of care perspective add to our understanding of the relationship between technologies and care?
Deliberating with care
Contemporary democratic practices and policy making emphasise direct participation from service users and citizens. These practices have been analysed from different theoretical perspectives and in terms of their capacity to achieve real change in policy and service delivery. Is it also useful to consider how they might contribute to 'care full' policy? What does 'care full' policy making look like?
Workshops sessions will include two papers and will run for an hour and a half - so plenty of time for presentation and discussion. We are also planning an edited collection, which we hope can include some papers from this conference.
Please submit an abstract of 300-500 words, including: Title of paper; which theme it relates to; your name, job title and address, and email address.
This should be sent as an email attachment to [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>
by 7th January 2012. You will be notified of the outcome by 1st March 2012
There will be differential fees for attendance for those giving papers: one author/presenter only. Fees are likely to be in the region of £100 for presenters and £130 for other attenders; £50 for students.
Professor of Social Informatics
School of Applied Social Sciences
University of Brighton
tel +44 (0)1273 643925
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