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Care as regulated and care in the obdurate world of intimate relations: Foster care divided?

Pithouse, Andrew Joseph ORCID: and Rees, Alyson ORCID: 2011. Care as regulated and care in the obdurate world of intimate relations: Foster care divided? Ethics and Social Welfare 5 (2) , pp. 196-209. 10.1080/17496535.2011.571070

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This paper outlines briefly care as a formal construct of a highly regulatory approach to being looked after in the setting of foster care. It then moves on to consider care and its expression within the interdependencies and everyday moral ‘workings out’ between people in caring relationships. These relationships are informed partly by exterior regulation, but also emerge predominantly from care as a social process and daily human activity in which the self exists through and with others. Drawing from an in-depth qualitative study of 10 foster families supported by local authorities or independent agencies in Wales, the paper examines the meaning of care in what is often a nebulous mix of paid and unpaid fostering. The moral texture of the foster family is revealed in regard to three areas of everyday domestic life that are often taken for granted and rarely researched: the symbolism of food, issues of the body, and aspects of touch. The paper concludes with a brief reprise of foster care as relational, constitutive and contextual in contrast with care as a professional and regulatory discipline.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
Uncontrolled Keywords: foster care; fostering; Wales; food; body; touch; family
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Last Modified: 06 Nov 2022 14:03

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