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Depletion, intersectionality and the limits of social policy: childcarers in Mexico City

Posted on 7 May 2020

Professor Jean Grugel's latest contribution to the European Journal of Politics and Gender

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This article makes a dual contribution. First, it adds an intersectional perspective to studies of depletion through social reproduction, examining the depletion experienced by children and adolescents caring for their younger siblings in Mexico City. The depletion that childcarers experience is shaped by age, low income, other forms of work in and outside the home, and gender. Second, we explore the limitations of cash transfer welfare programmes by examining their failure to address the needs of children who provide care within the family and show how misperceptions by social policymakers of the experiences of young carers limit the capacity of social policies to make a difference to their well-being. The article underlines the importance of the greater recognition of social reproductive work by poor children and adolescents, and of the intersectional depletion that they experience, both within social policy and in academic research.