We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. By continuing to browse this repository, you give consent for essential cookies to be used. You can read more about our Privacy and Cookie Policy.

Durham Research Online
You are in:

States, markets and an ethic of care.

Smith, S. J. (2005) 'States, markets and an ethic of care.', Political geography., 24 (1). pp. 1-20.


The politics of welfare navigate between the entitlements dispensed within a shrinking sphere of ‘care-full’ state activity, and a growing demand for the informal, unpaid labour of caring individuals. Meanwhile, the dispassionate workings of the market are left surprisingly intact, as if they were given, not made. Yet, although market-making is most often infused with an individualised competitive imperative, whose presumptions are incompatible with an ethic of care, this is neither inevitable nor immutable. So as well as arguing against markets as they are, it is worth making a bid for what they might become. To this end, various (housing) examples draw attention to the differentiation and diversity of markets, highlighting their performativity, emphasising their heterogeneity, and identifying the multitude of normative ideas and practices that are and could be built into them. There is the possibility here of wresting a different ethic from markets: harnessing their emotional energies, reformatting their economy, and rethinking their social role. From this perspective, the multiplexity in markets is not just a new economic geography, or a social curiosity; it is a far-reaching political resource.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Welfare, Care, Markets, Housing, Moral economy.
Full text:Full text not available from this repository.
Publisher Web site:
Record Created:09 Nov 2006
Last Modified:12 Feb 2010 13:42

Social bookmarking: del.icio.usConnoteaBibSonomyCiteULikeFacebookTwitterExport: EndNote, Zotero | BibTex
Look up in GoogleScholar | Find in a UK Library