The work of caring for young children: priceless or worthless?

Grace, Marty (1998) The work of caring for young children: priceless or worthless? Womens Studies International Forum, 21 (4). pp. 401-413. ISSN 0277-5395


The purpose of this article is to discuss and support my claim that caring for young children is socially useful work, and to trace some of the attention which the women's movement has given to this topic. It comments on the lack of impact of the women's movement on the lives of this particular group of women. Finally it considers what might be done to begin to redress the situation. This article draws on the international theoretical literature, but makes particular use of recent Australian quantitative and qualitative research. Like life in Australia, this article is both particular to this context and part of what happens in the rest of the world. My impression is that Britain, Europe, New Zealand and North America share a similar social construction of this work with Australia. Marilyn Waring's (1988) analysis points out that so-called 'developing' countries run the risk that 'development' projects will undermine the economic status of women in those countries by treating women's work as non-work. I believe that the issues canvassed in this article are international, and I hope that readers from a range of cultures will find some interest in a discussion which challenges the conventional ways of viewing this topic.

Item type Article
Official URL
Subjects Historical > RFCD Classification > 220000 Social Sciences, Humanities and Arts-General
Historical > FOR Classification > 1607 Social Work
Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Social Sciences and Psychology
Keywords mothers, caregivers, young children, women's work
Citations in Scopus 20 - View on Scopus
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