There is a deep ambivalence in Western society about caring and loving generally. This ambivalence has found expression in the academy in both liberal and radical egalitarian traditions, love and care have for the most part been treated as private matters, personal affairs, not subjects of sufficient political importance to be mainstreamed in theory or empirical investigations, while the subject of solidarity is given limited research attention. Sociological, economic, legal and political thought has focused on the public sphere, the outer spaces of life, indifferent to the fact that none of these can function without the care institutions of society. Within classical economics and sociology in particular there has been a core assumption that the prototypical human being is a self-sufficient rational economic man. There has been little serious account taken of the reality of dependency for all human beings, both in childhood and at times of illness and infirmity. That fact generates two very important forms of inequality: inequality in the degree to which people’s needs for love and care are satisfied, and inequality in the work that goes into satisfying them. These are the core of what we call ‘affective inequality’.
|Title of host publication||Affective Equality: Love, Care and Injustice|
|Editors||K Lynch, J Baker, M Lyons, M Feeley, N Hanlon, M O'Brien, J Walsh, S Cantillon|
|Place of Publication||UK|
|Number of pages||23|
|Publication status||Published - 2009|
- affective equality
- egalitarian traditions