From carewashing to radical care: the discursive explosions of care during Covid-19

Andreas Chatzidakis, Jamie Hakim, Jo Littler, Catherine Rottenberg, Lynne Segal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Scopus citations


Care, in all its permutations, is the buzzword of the moment, its meanings draining away in its constant evocation. Here, we briefly expand on older and newer meanings of care in the wake of Covid-19. These include the increasingly blurred boundaries between what has been traditionally understood as “care work” versus “essential work”; desperate attempts by corporations to promote themselves as ‘caring’; and the adoption of reactionary rather than progressive models of ‘care’ by populist leaders such as Trump, Johnson, and Bolsonaro. We then argue that we are in urgent need of a politics that recognises our mutual interdependence and vulnerability. Rejecting the extensive carelessness so evident today, our model of ‘universal care’ calls for inventive forms of collective care at every scale of life. We envisage a world in which genuine care is everywhere —from our most intimate ties to our relationship with the planet itself.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)889-895
Number of pages7
JournalFeminist Media Studies
Issue number6
StatePublished - 17 Aug 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • care
  • care work
  • carewashing
  • radical care
  • universal care

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Communication
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts


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