Have families been rethought? Ethic of care, family and 'whole' family approaches

Lesley Murray, Marian Barnes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


‘Whole family’ approaches to intervention and prevention have raised the profile of ‘family’ within social policy, where the family is constructed as a site of child care and protection, neglect and disadvantage. However, ‘family’ is a taken-for-granted and narrowly defined concept within policy documentation, and often used interchangeably with ‘parents’. This paper uses Sevenhuijsen’s (2003) ‘Trace’ approach to explore the use of the concept of ‘family’ across a number of interrelated social policy streams. The efficacy of familial approaches is considered through a feminist ethic of care approach that questions both gendered and generational assumptions about families in practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)533-544
Number of pages12
JournalSocial Policy and Society
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2010

Bibliographical note

© Cambridge University Press, 2010


  • whole family
  • policy discourses


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