Caring Democracy

Markets, Equality, and Justice

Joan C. Tronto

NYU Press (publisher)

Americans
now face a caring deficit: there are simply too many demands on people’s time
for us to care adequately for our children, elderly people, and ourselves.At the same time, political involvement in
the United States is at an all-time low, and although political life should
help us to care better, people see caring as unsupported by public life and
deem the concerns of politics as remote from their lives. Caring Democracy argues that we need to rethink American democracy,
as well as our fundamental values and commitments, from a caring perspective. What
it means to be a citizen is to be someone who takes up the challenge: how
should we best allocate care responsibilities in society?
 Joan Tronto argues that we need to
look again at how gender, race, class, and market forces misallocate caring
responsibilities and think about freedom and equality from the standpoint of making
caring more just.The idea that
production and economic life are the most important political and human
concerns ignores the reality that caring, for ourselves and others, should be
the highest value that shapes how we view the economy, politics, and
institutions such as schools and the family. Care is at the center of our human
lives, but Tronto argues it is currently too far removed from the concerns of
politics. Caring Democracy traces the reasons for this disconnection and
argues for the need to make care, not economics, the central concern of
democratic political life.

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