Caring Values and the Value of Care: Women, maternalism and caring work in the Czech Republic

Authors: Read, R.

Journal: Contemporary European History

Publisher: Cambridge University Press

ISSN: 0960-7773

This article examines maternalism in the Czech Republic, by exploring how waged and unwaged forms of caring work have been framed through discourses of women’s innately caring nature in late twentieth century. Present day hospital volunteering programs, which bring female, lay volunteers onto hospital wards to provide unwaged care to patients, are inscribed by maternalist tropes historically associated with domestic work and family care, rather than the neutral expertise associated with female waged care workers in public, institutional settings. The article assesses the contemporary reinvention of maternalist discourses and their capacity to mobilise unwaged caring labour.

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