Care and affective relations: Social justice and sociology

Kathleen Lynch, Manolis Kalaitzake, Margaret Crean

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

This article examines the ways in which the care-indifferent and gendered character of much political egalitarian theory has contributed to a disregard for the care-relational dimensions of social injustice within the social sciences. It demonstrates how the lack of in-depth engagement with affective relations of love, care and solidarity has contributed to an underestimation of their pivotal role in generating injustices in the production of people in their humanity. While humans are political, economic and cultural beings, they are also what Tronto has termed homines curans. Yet, care, in its multiple manifestations, is treated as a kind of ‘cultural residual’, an area of human life that the dominant culture neglects, represses and cannot even recognize for its political salience. If sociology takes the issue of relational justice as seriously as it takes issues of redistribution, recognition and political representation, this would provide an intellectual avenue for advancing scholarship that recognizes that much of life is lived, and injustices are generated, outside the market, formal politics and public culture. A new sociology of affective care relations could enhance a normatively-led sociology of inequality, that is distinguishable from, but intersecting with, a sociology of inequality based on class (redistribution), status (recognition) and power (representation). It would also help change public discourse about politics by making affective in/justices visible intellectually and politically, and in so doing, identifying ways in which they could be a site of resistance to capitalist values and processes.
Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Sociological Review
Early online date10 Sept 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 10 Sept 2020

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • affective relations
  • care
  • feminist
  • Fraser
  • neoliberal capitalism
  • politics-love
  • social justice

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Care and affective relations: Social justice and sociology'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this