cover image The Care Crisis: What Caused It and How Can We End It

The Care Crisis: What Caused It and How Can We End It

Emma Dowling. Verso, $24.95 (272p) ISBN 978-1-78663-034-6

University of Vienna sociology professor Dowling debuts with a cogent exploration of how austerity measures and the privatization of social welfare and health services in the U.K. have resulted in a lack of suitable options for those in need. She notes that women are more likely than men to lose income as a result of caring for children; that people of color are disproportionately harmed by government cuts to social care spending; and that migrants make up a significant portion of care workers and are often paid below minimum wage. Since the 1990s, Dowling explains, local authorities have been encouraged to contract care services to private providers with the goal of offering more personalized care. Corporate takeovers, however, have resulted in a greater focus on shareholder profits over effective treatments. Her solutions include reducing privatization, “publicly funding new and innovative models for care,” and improving working conditions for health-care employees. Blending sociological research and in-depth interviews, Dowling touches on many issues faced by patients and care providers in the U.K. and the U.S., and offers a lucid and alarming picture of how political decisions have created roadbocks to better care. Readers on both sides of the Atlantic will appreciate this passionate and persuasive call for reform. (Jan.)