By Sandra R. Levitsky
Getting older populations and dramatic alterations in future health care provision, loved ones constitution, and women's hard work strength participation over the past part century have created what many observers have dubbed a "crisis in care": call for for care of the previous and infirm is speedily starting to be, whereas the provision of personal care in the family members is considerably contracting. And but, regardless of the well-documented opposed results of up to date care dilemmas at the financial protection of households, the actual and psychological wellbeing and fitness of relations care prone, the base line of companies, and the monetary health and wellbeing of present social welfare courses, American households have validated little inclination for translating their deepest care difficulties into political calls for for social coverage reform.
Caring for Our personal inverts an everlasting query of social welfare politics. instead of asking why the yankee nation hasn't replied to unmet social welfare wishes through increasing social entitlements, this ebook asks: Why do not American households view unmet social welfare wishes because the foundation for calls for for brand new nation entitlements? How do conventional ideals in relations accountability for social welfare persist even within the face of well-documented unmet desire? the reply, this e-book argues, lies in a greater knowing of ways members think options to the social welfare difficulties they confront and what prevents new understandings of social welfare provision from constructing into political call for for substitute social preparations. taking good care of Our personal considers the strong ways that latest social regulations form the political mind's eye, reinforcing longstanding values approximately family members accountability, subverting grievances grounded in notions of social accountability, and in a few infrequent instances, developing new versions of social provision that might go beyond current ideological divisions in American social politics.
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Additional resources for Caring for Our Own: Why There is No Political Demand for New American Social Welfare Rights
1997). Because more than two-thirds of all family caregivers are women, not only do the emotional and physical costs of care provision fall disproportionately on female caregivers, but so too do the economic costs (Harrington Meyer and Herd 2007). Women in general are more likely than men to reduce work hours, take a leave, or give up work entirely to accommodate caregiving responsibilities (National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP 2009). Time out of the workforce to care for family members not only has short-term financial consequences in terms of lost wages and missed opportunities for job promotion and training (England and Folbre 1999; Health & Human Services 1998), but it poses a long-term threat to retirement security, as women end up making fewer contributions to Social Security, pensions, and other retirement savings vehicles.
The Census Bureau predicts that by 2050, more than 40% of adults aged sixty-five or older can expect to live to at least age ninety. The prevalence of chronic health conditions and disabilities increases markedly for this age group. Nearly half of the “oldest old,” for example, suffer from Alzheimer’s disease or a related form of dementia—an exceptionally expensive and emotionally and physically exhausting condition for families. If changing demographics have increased the care responsibilities of families in recent decades, the deinstitutionalization of a wide array of acute care services has made that care substantially more difficult for families (Abel 1991).
It is possible, of course, that the pluralists are partly correct: the absence of political demand for new social policies could be due not to political, organizational, or material constraints on demand making but to insufficient interest. It may be the case, in other words, that Americans simply do not view new social welfare needs as important enough or serious enough to treat as political issues. . Lack of interest could also be attributed to ideological beliefs about responsibility for social welfare: citizens may view unmet social welfare needs as personal or family problems rather than public problems appropriate for state intervention, or they may be wary of an expanded state role in social welfare provision.