The Commodification of Care

Hypatia 26 (1):43-64 (2011)
This paper discusses the question whether care work for dependent persons (children, the elderly, and disabled persons) may be entrusted to the market; that is, whether and to what extent there is a normative justification for the “commodification of care.” It first proposes a capability theory for care that raises two relevant demands: a basic capability for receiving care and a capability for giving care. Next it discusses and rejects two objections that aim to show that market-based care undermines the caring motives essential to care, one of them because of its reliance on contracts and the other because of the corrupting influence of payment on motivation. If market care is in principle legitimate, the commodification question transforms into one about the appropriate combinations of market and non-market care. This question can be answered only by adding an additional complication: care is to be balanced against other activities, most notably work for the labor market. This brings in the problem of gender inequality, since paid work has been traditionally distributed to men and caring activities to women. I show how the capability theory of caring presented in this paper can help resolve the dispute between competing models for balancing work and caring
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1111/j.1527-2001.2010.01146.x
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 24,442
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

View all 16 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
M. Cathleen Kaveny (1999). Commodifying the Polyvalent Good of Health Care. Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 24 (3):207 – 223.
Monique Lanoix (2009). Shades of Gray: From Caring to Uncaring Labor. International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics 2 (2):31-50.
Nicki Hedge & Alison Mackenzie (2012). Beyond Care? Journal of Philosophy of Education 46 (2):192-206.
Howard J. Curzer (1993). Is Care a Virtue for Health Care Professionals? Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 18 (1):51-69.
Lijun Yuan (2008). A Balance of Justice and Care. Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 10:487-493.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

43 ( #112,754 of 1,925,107 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

8 ( #107,643 of 1,925,107 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.