At a time when studies suggest the average American woman spends seventeen years caring for children and eighteen years caring for aging parents, Julia T. Wood examines how culture creates and sustains our definitions of caring, determines who cares along gender lines, and assigns the diminished value that caring has in our society.
Wood argues that America’s expanding need for caring is currently being met at an unacceptably high cost to caregivers. It is time, she believes, to examine caregiving roles and the personal, political, and social issues that surround the question of who cares. Caring must be recognized and promoted as an activity that commands the respect and participation of all members of our society—men and women alike.
Only by implementing changes in the basic fabric of American culture, affecting both the structure and the policies of our society and government, can we, Wood concludes, carve out a system of caring that will recognize caring as everyone’s responsibility.