Interweaving Caring and Economics in the Context of Place: Experiences of Northern and Rural Women Caregivers

Ethics and Social Welfare 4 (2):172-187 (2010)
While caregiving in northern, rural and remote communities takes place in the context of conditions unique to smaller communities, caregivers live with social policies that are shaped by urban norms rather than rural realities. In times of economic decline and government cuts rural issues of limited services and infrastructure as well as dependency on a single industry can lead to unemployment, community and family instability, and a decline in health and well-being. During these times caregivers face increased pressure to voluntarily fill the gaps left by service cuts. Research with women caregivers in four communities in northern British Columbia (BC), Canada explores the experiences of caring and the social, geographic, economic and political contexts within which the caregiving occurs. The discourse of economic efficiencies that speaks solely to the monetary value of care is contrasted with the human condition of connectedness and relationships. These two contradictory perspectives are uncovered during interviews with women caregivers and analyzed in the framework of Olena Hankivsky's discussion of an ethic of care
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