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

Chatzidakis, Andreas; Hakim, Jamie; Littler, Jo; Rottenberg, Catherine and Segal, Lynne. 2020. From carewashing to radical care: the discursive explosions of care during Covid-19. Feminist Media Studies, 20(6), pp. 889-895. ISSN 1468-0777 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

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.

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This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Feminist Media Studies on 22 Jun 2020, available online: It is deposited under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial License (, which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Departments, Centres and Research Units:

Media, Communications and Cultural Studies


7 June 2020Accepted
22 June 2020Published Online

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Date Deposited:

29 Apr 2024 10:44

Last Modified:

30 Apr 2024 06:46

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Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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