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The politics of care work and the welfare state

Hovedinnhold

Studiepoeng, omfang

10 ECTS

Studienivå (studiesyklus)

Bachelor

Undervisningssemester

Autumn

This course is only offerd autumn 2022

Mål og innhald

Across the globe, millions of people provide for their own living by caring for others, like children, dependent adults or elderly. The Covid-19 pandemic has shown once more how extremely important these care workers are. Care workers have been called "essential" and praised as "heroes". Yet these same care workers - mostly women and often with a migrant or ethnic minority background - often work under strenuous conditions for low wages. Even though most welfare states, especially outside of Scandinavia, do not directly employ care workers, working conditions are nevertheless strongly shaped by political interventions. Employment policies regulate formal working conditions, care policies determine conditions under which public funding can be used and migration policies regulate access to formal employment in care occupations for migrant workers.

In this course we try to understand how political decisions about care workers are made and to what extent the workers affected by these decisions play a role in the decision making process. To answer these questions, we study the political economy of care, mainstream political theories of welfare state development and reform, insights derived from gendered and intersectional studies of care politics, and a series of examples of care and domestic workers' mobilisation and representation. We pay attention to the role of various political actors, institutions and discourses and to appropriate methods for studying the politics of care work. Finally, the course pays ample attention to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on recent developments in the politics of care.

Læringsutbyte

After completing this course, students:

  • Understand the interactions of states, markets, families and nations in the political economy of care;
  • Understand the interactions of actors, institutions and ideas in the (gendered) politics of the welfare state;
  • Understand how a crisis like Covid-19 may change the interactions described above
  • Can critically assess recent scholarly work on the politics of care and domestic work
  • Can design and execute a simple study of the political representation of care workers

Krav til forkunnskapar

None

Tilrådde forkunnskapar

MET102SAMPOL105SAMPOL106SAMPOL107

Studiepoengsreduksjon

None

Krav til studierett

Open for all students at the University of Bergen

Arbeids- og undervisningsformer

Form: Lectures

Hours per week: 2

Number of weeks: 10-12

Obligatorisk undervisningsaktivitet

None

Vurderingsformer

Take home exam (3 days, maximum 3000 words)

Karakterskala

Grading A-F

Vurderingssemester

Assessment in teaching semester

Litteraturliste

The reading list will be ready before 1 June for the autumn semester

Emneevaluering

All courses are evaluated according to UiB's system for quality assurance of education.

Programansvarleg

The Programme Committee is responsible for the content, structure and quality of the study programme and courses

Emneansvarleg

Franca Van Hooren 

Administrativt ansvarleg

The Department of Comparative Politics at the Faculty of Social Sciences has the administrative responsibility for the course and the study programme.

Eksamensinformasjon

  • Vurderingsordning: Heimeeksamen

    Oppgave utleveres
    06.12.2022, 09:00
    Innleveringsfrist
    08.12.2022, 14:00
    Trekkfrist
    22.11.2022
    Eksamenssystem
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