Husbandry: A (Feminist) Reclamation of Masculine Responsibility for Care

Citation:

Nelson, Julie A. 2016. “Husbandry: A (Feminist) Reclamation of Masculine Responsibility for Care.” Cambridge Journal of Economics 40 (1): 1–15

Author: Julie A. Nelson

Abstract:

While extremely important and revolutionary, much feminist work on the economics of care has risked reinforcing an association of care with only women and with only women’s traditional activities. This article revives the image of ‘husbandry’, understood as careful cultivation, tending and management, as a complement to the image of mothering. A rich masculine prototype of care may be helpful in reawakening male responsibility for care, and revitalising the recognition of the necessity of concern and carefulness in all of economic life. The ‘good husbandman’, in stark contrast to ‘economic man’, lives a fuller life, acting responsively and responsibly. This article lays out the need for such a rich image; suggests applications to the environment, carework and business management; and addresses some possible drawbacks.

Keywords: care, masculinity, gender, husbandry

Topics: Economies, Care Economies, Feminist Economics, Environment, Feminisms, Gender, Masculinity/ies

Year: 2016

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