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Responsabilities, care and democracy

Abstract

Caring relationships are part of people's daily lives and a factor generating inequalities in democracies, although they are scarcely discussed in Political Science and virtually absent from Brazilian Political Science. The configuration of those relationships is critical for the possibilities of access to resources and political participation, as well as for assuring individuals' physical and psychological integrity. Even though women's responsibility for housework - in which I include caring for others, especially the most vulnerable - is a central aspect in existing asymmetries, commodified forms of care are also an important element in class inequalities. This article proposes a shift from the liberal notion of responsibility towards the issue of unequal accountability. It analyzes sexual division of labor and the different forms of dependence that are part of everyday life, placing care as a fundamental issue for democracy and justice.

Keywords:
care; democracy; labor; inequalities; gender; social class

Universidade de Brasília. Instituto de Ciência Política Instituto de Ciência Política, Universidade de Brasília, Campus Universitário Darcy Ribeiro - Gleba A Asa Norte, 70904-970 Brasília - DF Brasil, Tel.: (55 61) 3107-0777 , Cel.: (55 61) 3107 0780 - Brasília - DF - Brazil
E-mail: rbcp@unb.br