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Hanne Marlene Dahl
and
Daria Litvina

Care has traditionally been considered as belonging to the nation-state and the family, where the EU as an institution has not interfered. However, since 2017, old age care has been a right according to §18 of the European Pillar of Social Rights, and in 2022, the EU launched an ambitious new care strategy covering older, fragile persons. This chapter investigates how the political problem of old age and care for fragile, older people is understood in the EU and the needs identified through a feminist discursive policy analysis. Our analysis focuses on problematisation, care needs, intersectionality, and silencing. It identifies how the greying of the population and old age care have been politicised and have emerged as a new policy field within the EU. It poses the following research question: In what way has ageing and care for older, fragile people been framed as a political problem in EU policy papers? The material from 2013–2022 is read and analysed through a systematic discourse analysis. The empirical material consists of policy papers and reports by the European Commission, Council of the European Union, and European Parliament. We identify a polyphonic discourse that includes feminist elements and gender stereotypes, as well as silencing. It applies neoliberal rationales with paternalistic elements.

in Politicising and gendering care for older people
Open Access (free)
Framing mixed-methods analyses of the impact of COVID-19 on the cultural sector
Ben Walmsley
,
Abigail Gilmore
, and
Dave O’Brien

This introductory chapter presents the rationale for the wide-ranging research project that informs this book. It provides a summary overview of the research context and outlines the aims and objectives of the book, describing and justifying the mixed-methods methodology and the sampling mechanisms deployed. The chapter discusses the overall approach of the research and outlines the areas of synergy between the different strands of the study to draw out common objectives and themes between the different chapters. Its core aim, however, is to set the scene for the rest of the book. It does this by providing a brief analysis of the issues facing the UK’s cultural industries prior to the pandemic. These issues explain the structural challenges that hampered the cultural sector as the Covid-19 pandemic hit and progressed. The final section of the chapter contextualises and introduces the following chapters and offers readers a narrative arc to guide them through the book.

in Pandemic culture
Struggles between public and private sectors
Jelena Matančević
and
Danijel Baturina

Care for older people is conceived as a new social risk and a rising issue for contemporary welfare states. In Croatia, unmet and growing needs for care and limited state capacities for the provision of care for older people have opened space for private (profit and non-profit) initiatives in service provision, which by now outnumber public providers. The chapter analyses recent policy and institutional changes in care for older people in Croatia. It specifically focuses on the role of the private not-for-profit and profit sector in the provision of care for older persons (institutional and in-home care), and their relations with the government and public service providers, using the welfare mix as a conceptual and theoretical framework. Characteristics of the welfare mix model are explored from two key perspectives: financing (changes in responsibility for financing services, trends of marketisation, the structure of financing), and service provision (trends regarding the composition of providers: state – profit – non-profit, types of services, deinstitutionalisation, quality of services, etc.). Older people’s care has characteristics of mixed financing, combining financing from public sources (state budget) and private sources (out of pocket). Accessibility and affordability of services differ between private and public service providers. Growing unmet needs and limited capacities in public institutional care have resulted in marketisation trends. The need for changes in the system of older care services in Croatia is evident. However, this area is not a focus of policy. Different social groups at times try to politicise these issues, but without much success.

in Politicising and gendering care for older people
Open Access (free)
The impacts of COVID-19 on the UK cultural sector and implications for the future

This book reports on the findings of an eighteen-month UKRI funded mixed-methods research project that took place in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales between September 2020 and November 2021. It provides a comprehensive overview of the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on the UK’s cultural sector, identifying implications for policy, practice and the sector’s future direction. Over eleven chapters, the book summarises the local, regional and national policy responses to the crisis, and provides statistical analyses of the impacts on the UK’s cultural workforce and audiences’ responses to the pandemic. These insights are further illustrated via detailed case studies of cultural sub-sectors of theatre, museums and galleries, screen industries, libraries and festivals, interviews with cultural leaders and an ecosystem case study of the Greater Manchester city region.

The book identifies recurrent themes emerging from the research, commenting on policy responses, audience confidence, shifts to digital engagement and civic responsibility, organisational practice and recovery. It offers a robust analysis of the short, medium and longer-term impacts of Covid-19 and highlights their implications for cultural practitioners, organisations, funders and policymakers. The unique contribution of the book lies in the presentation of findings which highlight the challenges faced by cultural practitioners, organisations and audiences from different backgrounds, regions and art forms. Using lenses which focus on both macro and micro levels, the book provides fresh insights into the implications for research on, with, and around the cultural sector, highlighting possible future directions for arts management, audience research and cultural policy studies.

Open Access (free)
How England’s theatre organisations responded to the COVID-19 pandemic
Karen Gray
and
Ben Walmsley

During the Covid-19 pandemic, workers in the UK’s theatre and performing arts sector were among those most negatively affected. Some of these negative impacts relate to historic structural issues, including inequalities within the workforce, funding gaps and disparities, and unsustainable business models. During the crisis, the theatre sector made and accelerated changes to the strategies and modes used to make work and engage with audiences, including through digital adaptation and distribution. Alongside enforced and repeated closure of buildings, these shifts challenged organisations of all scales to make radical decisions and tackle issues of productivity, quality, capacity and skills. Lockdown experiences of making and watching theatre have raised important questions about the future roles of physical spaces, shared or synchronous experiences and definitions of authenticity, and regarding audience perceptions of the relative value of digital and live performance. They have drawn closer attention to inequalities of access of all kinds. Innovative and adapted models for engagement using remote, hybrid and blended formats have been trialled. Intensified attention has been paid towards the social and civic role of theatre. In this chapter we examine these phenomena and discuss their implications. We build on research engaging with theories and concepts drawn from arts management, cultural leadership, cultural value, cultural policy studies and audience studies.

At the chapter’s heart are the insights gained from over fifty semi-structured depth interviews undertaken throughout 2020–2021 with professionals working in theatre organisations across England. These experiences are also explored in depth via three short illustrative case studies.

in Pandemic culture
Majda Hrženjak
,
Jana Mali
, and
Vesna Leskošek

In Slovenia, care for older people and its gendered consequences entered the policy agenda and public discussion within the framework of 20-year-long political struggles for policy regulation of long-term care. The chapter analyses the implications of the three core care services, i.e. institutional care, family care, and cash benefit, offered to older people by the Long-Term Care Act finally adopted in 2021. In their analysis, the authors use three key concepts, namely (de)familisation, (de)institutionalisation, and public provision, which in the Act’s preliminary assessment are recognised as relevant to the impact of long-term care on the position of women and gender equality. However, the analysis shows that the legislator does not translate this preliminary recognition into concrete policy measures but formulates concrete policy solutions in a way that is controversial in relation to the principles of deinstitutionalisation, defamilisation, and the establishment of a formal, public network of services. In this way, the Long-Term Care Act raises several new dilemmas and opens the way to problematic developments such as informal, low-paid family or (grey) market care, domestication of women, expansion of precarious forms of care work, pressure to lower wages, and deprofessionalisation. The authors see the reasons for such outcomes in the tensions and contradictions that are inherent to each form of organisation of care, which represents an arena where the conflicting aspirations of different actors collide, and call for open discussion in a broad public debate.

in Politicising and gendering care for older people
Multidisciplinary perspectives from Europe

This book offers a new analytical framework for the multi-layered processes of politicising and gendering care for older people, understood as an inherently political and gendered condition of human existence. It brings together contributions that focus on different manifestations and interpretations of these processes in several European settings and at various societal and political levels. It investigates how care for older adults varies across time and place and aims to provide an in-depth comprehension of how it becomes an arena of political struggle and the object of public policy and political intervention. The book comprises multidisciplinary research stemming from gender studies, history, political science, public policy, social anthropology, social work, and sociology. These analyses examine the issue of care for older people as a political concern from many angles, such as problematising care needs, long-term care policies, home care services, institutional services, and family care. The book’s contributions reveal the diversity of situations in which the processes of politicising and gendering care for older adults overlap, contradict, or reinforce each other while leading to increased gender (in)equalities on different levels – familial, professional, and societal. Both caring for older adults or being taken care of when becoming old(er) or frail are potentially a feature of any personal trajectory, which is always contextually situated. Therefore, this book is an invitation to reflect upon care for older people as an issue particularly significant at any time and relevant at any societal level or socio-political sphere.

An institutional approach
Simona Ioana Bodogai
and
Diana Mărgărit

Ageing population, public expenditure cuts, privatisation of public services, economic migration, and scarcity of personnel in specialised institutions embody some of the most recent challenges that the Romanian system providing care to older people has had to deal with lately. Some aspects are symptomatic of a wider, global or regional phenomenon, while others seem specific to the Romanian context. By assuming that policies should result from public debates and consultations, a process generally called politicisation, this chapter questions various implications of politicising older people’s care. Thus, we focus, on one side, on the defining aspects of the older persons’ care system in Romania and, on the other, on the National Council of Pensioners’ and Older Persons’ Organisations (NCPOPO) as an agency for politicisation. Our analysis privileges an institutional approach, in which primary sources such as legislation, reports, and pieces of information from official websites, as well as secondary literature on older categories’ care in Romania, are equally relevant. Despite recent improvements, we argue that long-term care for older people in Romania keeps being challenged by formal-informal, public-private dichotomies related to care and gender-specific issues – care drain, low salaries, and family dynamics. In this specific context, NCPOPO plays multiple vital roles. Through a diverse repertory of actions, it simultaneously acts as a mediator, negotiator, generator of knowledge, and knowledge diffusion agent that seeks to make older people’s care a topic of politicisation.

in Politicising and gendering care for older people
The impact of COVID-19 on the screen sector in Wales
Eva Nieto McAvoy
and
Ania Ostrowska

Wales has increasingly become known for hugely popular, widely exported and award-winning TV and high-end TV productions. This success story is however overshadowed by high levels of precarity and inequality, which the Covid-19 pandemic has exposed further. The pandemic also revealed major shortcomings in how policymakers across the UK understand, recognise and support the screen sector and its freelance labour. Based on a series of interviews with freelancers, broadcasters, production companies and screen agencies, this chapter investigates the effect that the pandemic, lockdown and the subsequent support measures had on the screen sector in Wales. First, we argue that the pandemic exacerbated inequalities within the workforce, evidencing the fragility and precarity of an industry composed primarily of SMEs and freelancers. Second, we investigate the centrality of public service broadcasters in the Welsh audio-visual ecosystem of production and provision, highlighting the role of S4C as a minority-language broadcaster for a small nation. Third, we analyse the implications of the pivot to digital practices for workers, organisations and audiences. Finally, we conclude by highlighting some implications for policy, including the need to strike a balance between attracting external big budget productions and creating a sustainable Welsh media sector.

in Pandemic culture
Challenges and competing discourses amidst the global pandemic
Antía Pérez-Caramés

Like a growing number of countries around the world, Spain is experiencing a care crisis. This crisis is materialising in the breakdown of the traditional system of organisation and distribution of care work, generating enormous difficulties in providing and receiving care, and exposing the seams of gender and racial inequality that run through the care system. This chapter presents an analysis of long-term care policies in Spain over the last two decades following an approach that considers, in addition to policies, the social practices and discourses surrounding these policies. Special attention is paid to the main initiative developed in this respect in 2006 (Law 39/2006), as well as to the new challenges and policy discourses that have emerged as a result of the impact of the global pandemic. It is pointed out how the double anchoring of Spanish familism, structurally based on the elements of sexual division of labour and ideological preference for family care, has prevented and delayed the politicisation of the issue of care, and also encouraged the use of migrant women’s labour, leading to the development of global care chains. This contribution is framed within a critical social policy analysis that takes into special consideration the particular way in which gender and racial inequalities are articulated in the discourses that are conveyed when addressing issues related to long-term care policies.

in Politicising and gendering care for older people