A new currency for paid care: Circles of reciprocity

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2 Scopus citations


The article offers a fresh perspective on the social value of paid care, and how we, as a society, can assign its full value. The social importance of paid care is highly reliant on the nonmarket attributes of the care offered. Thus, care is extremely valuable when it is bestowed with loving presence, kindness, and concern. The nonmarket characteristics of care work establish unique types of ties that transform egoistic individuals into a human society. However, the social import of this work is not acknowledged when we rely on the market to reflect care's value. Flattening the value of care solely based on its market dimension may lead to care being emptied of its nonmarket elements over time, transforming the essence of care, the relationships within which care is given as well as the identity and social fabric of the welfare state. To sustain and foster the nonmarket attributes of paid care, the article proposes a theoretical notion of reciprocity—rather than exchange—on the axis between the family, the community, and the state as a way to ascribe nonmonetized value to these attributes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1164-1177
Number of pages14
JournalGender, Work and Organization
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 The Authors. Gender, Work & Organization published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


  • commidification
  • gender equality
  • paid care
  • value


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