The feminist ethic of care has received much attention in scholarly circles recently. An ethic of care is concerned most of all with contextualizing the human condition, being responsive to people's individual differences through a particular form of engagement, and taking into account the consequences of decisions in terms of relieving burdens, hurt, or suffering. Although the theory continues to develop, less attention has been paid to its practical implications. To date, the relationship between care ethics and public policy in the Canadian context has not been investigated.
Through a series of case studies, this book considers the implications of this ethic for a range of Canadian social policy issues. The author examines how the ethic of care, if properly applied, might change specific policies, and what lessons might be learned about the theory of care from such a focused application. Her examples demonstrate the extent to which a care orientation differs from a justice orientation, and provide an alternative normative framework for interpreting, understanding, and evaluating social policy.
Social Policy and the Ethic of Care bridges the gap between theoretical and public policy analysis in revealing why Canadian social policy is lacking and how it could be made more effective and robust by the inclusion of an ethic of care. This interdisciplinary text is essential reading for scholars and students of gender or feminist studies, philosophy, political theory, and social policy.
Olena Hankivsky is an associate professor in the Department of Political Science, and adjunct professor in the Department of Women's Studies at Simon Fraser University.
Preface and Acknowledgments Introduction 1 First-Generation Care Theorists and Liberal Assessments of Care 2 Second-Generation Care Theorists and the Moral Principles of Care 3 The Interpretation of Equality: A Study of Section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms 4 Therapeutic Jurisprudence: A Care-Informed Approach for Compensating Victims of Institutional Abuse 5 Economic Costing in Social Policy: The Ethics of Quantifying Intangible Losses 6 Caregiving: Reconceptualizing the Public/Private Divide Conclusion Notes Bibliography Index