care(redirected from informal care)
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CARE(Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere), nonprofit, nonsectarian federation of agencies devoted to channeling relief and self-help materials to needy people in foreign countries. Organized in the United States (1945) to help war-ravaged Europe, CARE soon expanded its program to include developing nations in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. Famous for its "CARE packages" of food and other necessities, CARE in now also involved in population, health care, land management, and small economic activity. It is now an international organization with 10 member countries and headquarters in Brussels.
- the work involved in supporting people who, because of physical frailty chronic illness or other forms of incapacity and disability, are incapable of leading an autonomous existence.
- other kinds of carework, e.g. in child-rearing (see CHILD CARE) and DOMESTIC LABOUR. This should be distinguished from care in sense 1.
Feminist sociologists (see also FEMINISM) have had a major impact on the understanding of care and caring relationships. They have argued that caring is ‘a gendered concept’ and that women constitute the majority of carers both informally, in the private sphere, and as low-paid care workers (‘care assistants’) in the formal sector (Finch and Groves, 1982; Ungerson, 1987; Lewis and Meredith, 1988). Studies of caring have examined the complex reasons why women care and the particular problems and difficulties they face. Social policies involving decarceration and COMMUNITY CARE, the decline of neighbour-hood and COMMUNITY associated with increasing SOCIAL (and geographical) MOBILITY, have placed an increasing burden on individual women carers. There is some evidence that women are reluctant to enter caring relationships with female relatives but lack viable alternatives (Cotterill, 1994). Recent research using data from the 1980 British General Household Survey has also pointed to the significant contribution made by male carers, particularly men who care for their wives (Arber and Gilbert, 1989).