Between Intimacy and Alienage: The Legal Construction of Domestic and Carework in the Welfare State
Unlike its mundane image in public discourse, carework is a multi-layered and complex social interaction, both for the people directly involved in it and for the society in which it takes place. In the extensive literature exposing the economic and social importance of carework, the role of law has often been downplayed. Even when not altogether missing, in most studies the law is merely there – an artefact or background variable that must be taken into consideration. Questions such as ‘how does law function?’, ‘how does law develop?’, or ‘what are the alternatives to law?’ have been left aside for the lawyers to take care of. It is important to incorporate these questions into the sociological, political and economic study of carework.