Caregiving youth, recognition, and the future of care ethics

Authors: Elizabeth Olson*, UNC-Chapel Hill
Topics: Social Geography, Disabilities, Gender
Keywords: care, youth, caregiving, disability, justice
Session Type: Virtual Paper
Day: 4/9/2021
Start / End Time: 3:05 PM / 4:20 PM
Room: Virtual 31
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


This paper draws upon emerging research on caregiving youth in order to reconsider the role of recognition in care ethics. Research and youth-oriented services in the U.S. have been slow to acknowledge the role of youth caregivers (also “young carers”) in the reproduction of contemporary US social and economic policy. Though systematically excluded from most studies of the national caregiving crisis, children and young people under the age of 18 are providing essential support for family or other relations who require support to undertake activities necessary for daily living. Youth caregivers are conspicuously absent from research on the emerging caregiving crisis in the US and have also been excluded from consideration in the broader development of care ethics. In this paper, I begin by briefly review emerging insights into youth caregiving in the US and the ways in which the case of young people who care also invite new entry-points for extending concepts of recognition in care ethics. I therefore return to some of the foundational literature in care ethics to consider how the conceptualization of recognition might be informed by critical development studies and new directions forged by queer, crip, and black and brown scholars and activists who are reconceptualizing care with disability justice.

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