New Zealand History

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Past Caring? Gender, Work and Emotion - A talk by Professor Barbara Brookes

August 2nd, 2017


How do we write a history of caring? This became a central question for Barbara Brookes, Professor of History at the University of Otago in writing 'A History of New Zealand Women'.

There have been major transitions in the locus of care over time. In the early twentieth century, for example, unmarried daughters might be expected to care for their parents in old age. In the mid-twentieth century, married women with children were expected to care for them. The care of children and the elderly, expected in the past to be the responsibility of families and to take place in family homes, or benevolent or church institutions, might now take place in a commercial context. In the twenty-first century, such caring – both for the elderly and the young – may be part of the market economy. This talk will consider the changing landscapes of care and their implications in the twenty-first century.

Recorded at the National Library of New Zealand, 2 August 2017.


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