Caring for ourselves? Self-care and neoliberalism

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceeding with ISSN or ISBNChapter


Caring for ourselves forms part of our species activity, but how we think about and do this, like all other aspects of care, are political as well as personal matters. Over recent years the concept of ‘self-care' has been mobilized by policy makers and governments in the deepening of neoliberal objectives to dismantle public welfare resources and shift responsibility for care onto individual citizens. Yet ideas about self-care have a longer and wider history as part of collective struggles - for recognition of the experiences of disabled people, of women's health movements challenging medical hierarchies and in contexts of community-led peer support and self-help groups. This chapter problematizes the concept of self-care and the implications of its co-option into neo-liberal objectives of enforcing individual responsibilities. It argues that an alternative articulation of self-care based in care ethics is vital if we are to secure government responsibility for the care and welfare of citizens.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEthics of Care
Subtitle of host publicationCritical Advances in International Perspective
EditorsMarian Barnes, T. Brannelly, Lizzie Ward, N. Ward
Place of PublicationBristol
PublisherPolicy Press
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)9781447316541
Publication statusPublished - 28 Oct 2015


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