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date: 28 February 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter aims to provide some insights into how care emerged as a subject of sociological study in Latin America through the lens of gender inequality. Since its emergence as an academic concern, care has become one of the most dynamic and controversial fields of study in contemporary sociology. In Latin American countries, the social organization of care became important in the context of a “care crisis,” which was caused by a combination of increased female participation in the labor market, a more diverse organization of households and families, men’s infrequent participation in care and domestic chores, increasing life expectancy, and new care needs. Shifts in women’s professional lives, in combination with an absence of public services and social benefits that might have replaced some of the unpaid work women had performed within families, have given rise to the crisis of care.

Keywords: care work in Latin America, social organization of care, unpaid work, female labor markets, sexual division of labor

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