An ethic of care and sibling care in older age

Marian Barnes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Feminist care ethics emphasises the relational nature of care. This suggests the importance of understanding the different dynamics of care in different relational contexts. This article applies such a perspective to exploratory interviews with carers looking after siblings in older age. While some attention has been given to sibling care following the death of parents of people with learning difficulties and, to a lesser extent, those with enduring mental health problems, older sibling care can take place when siblings become ill, or when they have had close contact over a lifetime. Motivations to care are strongly embedded in family responsibility, but the precise meaning and consequences of this vary. Such relationships may not be more egalitarian than other familial caring relationships, although caregiving can bring siblings closer together.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-23
Number of pages17
JournalFamilies, Relationships and Societies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2012

Bibliographical note

(c) The Policy Press


  • siblings
  • family responsibilities
  • carers
  • ethic of care


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