Depletion, Intersectionality and the Limits of Social Policy: Child Carers in Mexico City

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JournalEuropean Journal of Politics and Gender
DateAccepted/In press - 27 Apr 2020
DateE-pub ahead of print (current) - 27 Apr 2020
Early online date27/04/20
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

This article makes a dual contribution. First, it adds a novel 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. We show how the depletion child carers experience is shaped by a combination of age, low income, other forms of work in and outside the home and gender, through the examples of three poor young people who provide everyday, regular care to siblings. Secondly, 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 policy makers of the experiences of young carers limit the capacity of social policies to make a difference to their wellbeing. The article underlines the importance of greater recognition of social reproductive work by poor children and adolescents and of the intersectional depletion they experience, both within social policy and in academic research.

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