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Who cares and how would you know? Conceptualising ‘doxic’ care

Hughes, Gill



John Horton

Michelle Pyer


This chapter draws from a study which explores the conceptualisations of care in theory and practice, examining (in Pierre Bourdieu’s terms) its ‘doxic’ qualities: that is, how it often seems ‘natural’, ‘self-evident’, or ‘understood without question’. Presenting findings from research with young people and practitioners involved in a programme of activities for young people, Not in Education, Employment and Training provision (‘NEET’), in northern England, the chapter demonstrates how care is often a contested concept for both the carer and the ‘caree’. Care is also undermined by a neoliberal context imbued with a culture of performativity, austerity cuts, and a less tolerant milieu, all of which constrain relational encounters of care. The chapter argues for a lens of ‘contextualised care’, which ensures that staff and young people operate within an arena of negotiated relational care.

Publication Date Apr 26, 2017
Publisher Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Pages 26-43
Series Title Routledge Spaces of Childhood and Youth Series
Book Title Children, young people and care
Chapter Number 2
ISBN 978-1138920880
APA6 Citation Hughes, G. (2017). Who cares and how would you know? Conceptualising ‘doxic’ care. In J. Horton, & M. Pyer (Eds.), Children, young people and care, 26-43. Taylor & Francis (Routledge).
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