By Kathleen Lynch, John Baker, Maureen Lyons
This groundbreaking book presents a brand new point of view on equality by means of highlighting and exploring affective equality, the element of equality occupied with relationships of affection, care and unity. Drawing on reports of intimate being concerned, or "love laboring," it unearths the intensity, complexity and multidimensionality of affective inequality.
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Additional resources for Affective Equality: Love, Care and Injustice
As Brophy and Smart (1985: 1) put it: Law sets the parameters to what is considered ‘normal’, for example marriage, sexual relations, the way we care for our children. … We cannot ‘opt out’ of these legal parameters by adopting unconventional lifestyles or by avoiding heterosexuality. The law still has something to say about our domestic lives and intimate relations, and we cannot assert its irrelevance by ignoring it. An example of this process is the distinction between the ‘public’ and the ‘private’.
Drawing on the tradition of caregiving to new mothers, Kittay articulates: a principle of doulia: Just as we have required care to survive and thrive, so we need to provide conditions that allow others – including those who do the work of caring – to receive the care they need to survive and thrive. (Kittay, 1999: 107, emphasis in the original) An egalitarian ideal of support for carers should therefore attend to the whole range of their needs. A third major theme is that the relationship between caregiver and care recipient can be more or less egalitarian.
Partly because of the ‘care versus justice’ position, issues of inequality in caring relations have often been neglected. Recent feminist work has revealed a number of key themes for egalitarians – the need for care, the work of care, and the quality of the relationship between caregiver and care-recipient. These themes are explored in depth in the rest of this book. Conclusion In this chapter we have reviewed some of the approaches taken towards affective equality in a number of relevant academic disciplines.