What is work? Insights from the evolution of state foster care

Article English OPEN
Kirton, Derek (2013)

This article focuses on state foster care as a case study in the (re)configuration and negotiation of boundaries between work and non-work. Foster care can be seen as occupying a liminal position between the domains of ‘work’ and ‘family’, requiring management of the tensions presumed to exist between competing value systems. Through a review of research and policy developments, the relevant boundary issues are contextualized and explored, drawing examples from areas such as remuneration, taxation and benefits, employment status, work-life balance and the labour process. It is argued that while foster care shares the hybridity and ensuing tensions of care work more generally, the spatial and temporal integration of work and family and the high level of state regulation give them a particular intensity. In turn, this offers great potential for the study of work/non-work boundaries. Possible research avenues are set out
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