Ethical foundations of caregiving examined in new book

York University Professor Alan Blum is the co-editor of a new book that delves into the ethical foundations of caregiving.

Alan Blum
Alan Blum

Blum, a professor of sociology, and communications and culture, co-edited the book The Ethics of Care: Moral Knowledge, Communication, and the Art of Caregiving with Stuart J. Murray, a professor and Canada Research Chair at Carleton University.

The book begins with a focus on the ethical foundations of caregiving in health and expands towards problems of ethics and justice implicated in a range of issues. The content develops the notion of care itself and its connection to practice.

Organized around the themes of culture as a restraint on caregiving in different social contexts and situations, innovative methods in healthcare, and the way in which culture works to position care as part of a rhetorical approach to dependency, responsibility, and justice, The Ethics of Care presents case studies examining institutional responses to end-of-life issues, the notion of informed consent, biomedicine, Indigenous rights, and post-colonialism in care and theoretical approaches to the concept of care.

ethics-of-care-book-coverOffering discussions from a variety of disciplinary approaches, including sociology, communication and social theory, as well as hermeneutics, phenomenology and deconstruction, this book will appeal to scholars across the social science with interests in healthcare, medicine, justice and in the question of how we think about care as a notion and social form, and its relationship to practice.

Blum is the executive director of the Culture of Cities Centre, as well as a professor at York University, and adjunct professor at St. Jerome’s University at the University of Waterloo. He is the author of The Grey Zone in Health and Illness, Theorizing, The Imaginative Structure of the City, and The Lived Experience of the Dying Body, and co-author of On the Beginning of Social Inquiry and Self-Reflection in the Arts and Sciences.

Blum’s current teaching and research is informed by his work developed over the years on theorizing and methods for the analysis of social forms, most recently in studies on the city, materialism, and idealism in everyday life, on institutions such as law, medicine, and the university, on the emotions, and particularly disease and suffering, and on voice, humor, aesthetics and ethics as resources for inquiry. His recent work on birth, death and dying, the city, and mental disease and illness is informed by this interpretive framework

Other contributors to the book affiliated with York University include:
• Diego Llovet, a behavioral scientist with the Cancer Screening Unit at Cancer Care Ontario. He received his PhD (’12) and MA from York Unversity;
• Philip Walsh, an associate professor and chair of the Department of Sociology at York University; and
• Han Zhang, a PhD candidate in the Department of Communication and Culture at York University.