The Where of Care: Speculative Dissonance and the Assetisation of Childcare

Authors: Aisling Gallagher*, Massey University
Topics: Economic Geography, Social Geography, Australia and New Zealand
Keywords: Assetisation, Care, Passive Investors, Place
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/6/2019
Start / End Time: 1:10 PM / 2:50 PM
Room: Maryland C, Marriott, Lobby Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded

As a key tenet of financial capital, assetisation has become an important process reshaping the delivery of social care across many neoliberalised welfare contexts. Contributing to critical studies of the financialisation of care, this presentation will deploy the concept of assetisation to consider its role in reshaping the landscape of private sector childcare in New Zealand. Drawing primarily on interviews with childcare property specialists, I explore the decoupling of the built environment of the childcare sector from the delivery of care, through the involvement of passive investors enticed into the sector by the relative security of care as a government subsidised business in many neoliberal welfare contexts. In the process, I illustrate how attempts to make the childcare infrastructure more liquid contends with the place-based relational nature of care itself. The presentation will consider how strategies of risk minimisation for investors are grounded in the very practice of childcare as a form of relational and affective labour. I conclude with the idea of ‘speculative dissonance’, to capture the increasing distancing of ownership of the spaces of social care from the conditions of its delivery under financial capitalism.

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