The Politics of Ailment

A New Approach to Care

By Minna Zechner, Lena Näre, Olli Karsio, Antero Olakivi, Liina Sointu, Hanna-Kaisa Hoppania and Tiina Vaittinen

Published

Jul 22, 2022

Page count

134 pages

ISBN

978-1447343479

Dimensions

203 x 127 mm

Imprint

Policy Press

Published

Jul 22, 2022

Page count

134 pages

ISBN

978-1447343493

Dimensions

203 x 127 mm

Imprint

Policy Press

Published

Jul 22, 2022

Page count

134 pages

ISBN

978-1447343493

Dimensions

203 x 127 mm

Imprint

Policy Press
The Politics of Ailment

Deficiencies in old age care are some of the most pressing human rights concerns in mature welfare states.

This book radically challenges the ethics of viewing care as a tradeable commodity and introduces a novel framework for understanding and analysing social care through the concept of ailment. Providing examples from the British and Finnish welfare states, it demonstrates how ailment shapes societies from the micro to the macro level. Addressing the marketisation and financialisation of care, the authors bring to light increasing inequalities in care.

This book argues that ailment is part of human life and society, and therefore the politics of care should begin with a politics of ailment.

“All humans care, yes, but all humans also ail, and this reality matters greatly. This innovative introduction of the concept of ailment is an indispensable addition to care studies.” Joan C. Tronto, University of Minnesota

“This highly topical work offers innovative perspectives on old-age care and on the implications of thinking with ailment for social policies. A must-read for those interested in care.” Hanne Marlene Dahl, Roskilde University

Viva Collective is composed of social policy researchers, sociologists and political theorists passionate about developing novel understandings of care and inequality. The collective was established in 2013 and is based in Finnish universities and research institutes.

Minna Zechner is Associate Professor at the University of Helsinki.

Lena Näre is Associate Professor at the University of Helsinki.

Olli Karsio is Project Researcher at the University of Jyväskylä.

Antero Olakivi is Postdoctoral Researcher at the University of Helsinki.

Liina Sointu is University Instructor at Tampere University.

Hanna-Kaisa Hoppania is Lecturer at the National University of Ireland Galway.

Tiina Vaittinen is University Researcher at Tampere University.

1. Introduction: Humans as ailing beings

2. Tracing ailment in social and care policies

3. Profit making and ailment: the marketisation and financialisation of care

4. Ailment in caring encounters and divisions of care labour

5. The politics of ailment