Unpaid care, harm and social reproduction: theorising and understanding children's care work

The University of York's Professor Jean Grugel (Department of Politics), along with Professor Shirin Rai, will carry out research on a project which looks at the value of care work carried out by children and adolescents and seeks to identify the harm done to them, as well as the value placed upon it.

Using the lens of feminist political economy, we suggest that in order to identify the extent to which care work is harmful, we need to measure the costs of social reproduction - or depletion.

To date, most studies of depletion have focused on the costs paid by adult women. We suggest that children and adolescents also experience depletion, but they do so in ways that are age- as as gender-and income-distinctive. Pilot studies have been carried out in Mexico and the UK.