Policy Press

Talking about care

Two sides to the story

By Liz Forbat


Jan 12, 2005

Page count

224 pages




234 x 156 mm


Policy Press
Talking about care

Despite its familiarity, the realities of care are both complex and contested. This book offers a unique approach to scrutinising the co-existence of both care and abuse in relationships. It demonstrates ways of increasing critical reflexivity when working with people involved in difficult care relationships. The book emphasises that when talking about care, we need to care about talk.

Discourse analysis is introduced as a method of investigating relationships, policy and literature in informal care. Analytic tools are considered alongside case-studies to illustrate how both carer and caree construct their relationship and account for difficulties with each other.

"Talking about Care makes an important contribution to social constructionist research into care relationships ... and an excellent illustration of what a discursive approach can offer to the study and practice of informal and family care ... This book should be required reading for practitioners, trainees, advanced level students, academics and researchers within health and social care and related disciplines as well as those seeking to develop critical reflexivity in the theory and practice care." Ageing and Society

"... this is an important book and one that should be read by researchers and teachers in dementia care. Its importance lies in its topicality and its argument that a polarization and dichotomy has occured between carees and carers." Dementia

"This book illuminates the world of care and family relationships. Individual voices speak loud and clear about the multifaceted world of care. Forbat's analysis is neither sentimental nor partial. It will equip practitioners with an understanding of the hidden depths and strengths of care relationships." Jill Manthorpe, Social Care Workforce Research Unit, King's College London

Liz Forbat is a Research Fellow at the Centre for Research on Families and Relationships, at the University of Edinburgh, UK. She has an ongoing interest in relationship difficulties, and has worked as a psychologist in acute psychiatry and forensics.

Introduction: Talking about care/caring about talk; Constructions of care: the family, difficulties and policy; Biographies, family histories and discursive psychology; Accounts of care and accounting for care: repertoires in talk; Embedding difficulties in talk about care relationships; Mapping family history: the genealogy of difficulties and care; Two sides to the care story: illuminating the analytic potential; Talking about care: practice implications.