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From carewashing to radical care: the discursive explosions of care during Covid-19

Chatzidakis, A., Hakim, J., Littler, J. ORCID: 0000-0001-8496-6192 , Rottenberg, C. & Segal, L. (2020). From carewashing to radical care: the discursive explosions of care during Covid-19. Feminist Media Studies, 20(6), pp. 889-895. doi: 10.1080/14680777.2020.1781435


Care, in all its permutations, is the buzzword of the moment, its meanings draining away in its constant evocation. Here, we briefly expand on older and newer meanings of care in the wake of Covid-19. These include the increasingly blurred boundaries between what has been traditionally understood as “care work” versus “essential work”; desperate attempts by corporations to promote themselves as ‘caring’; and the adoption of reactionary rather than progressive models of ‘care’ by populist leaders such as Trump, Johnson, and Bolsonaro. We then argue that we are in urgent need of a politics that recognises our mutual interdependence and vulnerability. Rejecting the extensive carelessness so evident today, our model of ‘universal care’ calls for inventive forms of collective care at every scale of life. We envisage a world in which genuine care is everywhere —from our most intimate ties to our relationship with the planet itself.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Feminist Media Studies on 22 Jun 2020, available online:
Publisher Keywords: care, care work, universal care, radical care, carewashing
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
Q Science > QR Microbiology > QR180 Immunology
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine > RA0421 Public health. Hygiene. Preventive Medicine
Departments: School of Policy & Global Affairs > Sociology & Criminology
SWORD Depositor:
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