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A Caring Society

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A Caring Society? By Michael D. Fine is about how care has turned into a very important issue in the twenty-first century.

Fine offers evidence of the conversion of care from a once private to now a public concern. He does this by discussing our ageing society, the work-life collision, pressure on families and the increasing demand for care of the elderly. He indicates that provision of care can no longer be taken for granted. This summary will review Fine’s findings of: The Emergence of Care, Defining and Claiming Care, and Promoting an Ethic of Care for an Unjust World.

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In chapter 1 The Emergence of Care according to Fine (2007) “care is an essential feature of social life, yet it no longer fits into the contemporary world in the way that it has in the past” (p. 1). Fine introduces care as a complex, contested, and multilayered concept with theories and arguments that has produces many controversies and debates, such as; what care is, who is responsible, and the evolvement into the twenty-first century.

In chapter 2 Defining and Claiming Care, Fine points out the controversies that today’s society has with defining the word ‘care’. The author does this by looking at the viewpoint of many scholars and professionals in the social science and clinical arena of caregiving. Also, he makes reference to Hilary Graham’s (2007) concept of ‘care’ as a practice and process with four phases: Caring about, Taking care of, Care-giving, and Care-receiving.

Fine (2007) sees caregiving as important and critical to the field of nursing and predicts it is likely to remain contested and will continue to evolve and take on different meaning (pg. 51). In chapter 3 Promoting an Ethic of Care for an Unjust World, Fine explains how we are moving away from previous stereotypes that associated care with, in home unpaid personal help and support provided by a female family member. To now care being seen as an alternative to providing care for a loved one and not gender specific.

The author considers the concept of the ‘ethic of care’ to be and linked to genders and ideas of public virtue. He states “this debate takes place largely at the intersection of feminism, moral philosophy and political theory, which has done much to invigorate our understanding of the understanding of the complexity of the multi-discussion” (Fine, 2007, pg. 51). In summary, Fine provides evidence through theories, arguments and decades of case studies that gave an in-depth view of care/caregiving and its evolvement into the 21st century.


Fine, D. Michael, (2007). A Caring Society?. Care and the Dilemmas of Human Service in the 21st Century: Palgrave Macmillan

Cite this A Caring Society

A Caring Society. (2017, Mar 15). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/a-caring-society/

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