1. Let us be clear. Ours is primarily a society that does not care.
2. It elects governments that do not want to pay for care, indeed make a virtue of lowering taxes
rather than properly funding welfare services and paying care workers.
3. It perpetuates euphemisms such as ‘care in the community’ and forces more and more of the care
back on to women who are simultaneously put under pressure to engage in waged work.
4. It has tolerated regimes of abuse in homes for children and elderly people under the name of care.
5. Despite all this, care survives.
6. It survives in households and friendship networks; it survives in hospices and therapeutic
communities; it survives in the work of home care assistants and nurses.
7. And because care survives, people enjoying such care can become strong, strong even in death and
8. Power saturates all social relationships.
9. All of us, every day, engage in some relationships in which we have power over others – as
professionals, as family members, as political activists and as self-help group members.
10. We are enmeshed in discourses which embody relations of power both at work and at home.
11. If, however, we conclude that power inevitably leads to domination and that agency is only possible
through resistance to domination, then most of us may as well pack up and leave the stage.
12. Surely the point is that the power that we all have can be used to good effect or for ill.
13. We can use the power that resides in our personal qualities and our skills and experiences to help
14. Otherwise why would people want to become parents, or teachers, or nurses?
15. This is simple stuff and I feel angry at having to say it out loud.
Adapted from Hoggett, P. (2000) ‘Social Policy and the Emotions’ in Lewis, G., Gewirtz, G. and Clarke, J.
(eds.) Rethinking Social Policy, Sage Publications, London.