The Care.Macht.Mehr initiative group was founded in 2011 by social science researchers and faculty from Austria, Germany and Switzerland. Margrit Brückner, Anna Buschmeyer, Eva Fleischer, Claudia Gather, Karin Jurczyk, Frank Luck, Maria S. Rerrich and Barbara Thiessen are currently active members; Erna Appelt, Katharina Pühl and Bernhard Weicht were part of the group in recent years. The group’s aim is to draw public attention to the care crisis which has been an important research focus of care work and critical gender studies.
The extent of the care crisis is obvious when all fields are considered together: care and support for children, the elderly and other vulnerable groups, nursing, social work, paid and unpaid care, in institutions and in private households, related to health, upbringing, support of family members, friends and neighbors and much more – in short: caring for others, for the common good and as a basis caring for oneself, day after day and during the ups and downs of the life course.
What Do We Do?
In 2013, the initiative group went public with a Care Manifesto in order to draw attention to the care crisis and to suggest possible ways out. For societal cohesion, which is based on mutual concern, is at risk. More than 1000 people from the fields of social science research and practice have signed the Care Manifesto.
We regularly organize workshops on specific aspects of care in order to facilitate interdisciplinary discourse as well as to promote exchange with civil society. We also take part in networks and discussions, give lectures, write blogs, publish scientific texts and carry out various activities, such as celebrating May 1st (the traditional Labor Day in German speaking countries) as the ‚Day of Invisible Work‘. The COVID 19 pandemic has made the care crisis visible to the general public, and the pressing need for action is more noticeable than ever. In our 2020 position paper Clean Up Time! Redesigning Care after Corona, the initiative group suggests work packages providing possible answers to urgent questions to be addressed now.