The Care-Centered Economy

The Care-Centered Economy

The Care-Centered Economy
Apr 17, 2015 by Ina Praetorius
Place of Publication: Berlin
Date of Publication: April 2015
Number of Pages: 84

Economics has become a kind of bellwether science from which many people obtain their view of what is “normal” and “right” about the value of relationships and activities. However, of all things, those activities for satisfying needs that are carried out in private households are studied either not at all or only marginally in economic science today, and are often distorted. What are the consequences of this omission?

The theologian Ina Praetorius answers this question in her essay “The care-centered economy” by taking readers on an intellectual journey through the Western history of ideas and demonstrating how an inequitable dichotomous order is deeply rooted in the way today’s economy and society are organized.  

Table of contents:


1 The dichotomization of humanity. A journey through a history

  • 1.1 The question of the beginnings
  • 1.2 Xanthippe and Socrates: Life begins on the other side?
  • 1.3 Soul and body, polis and oikos, master and slave, man and animal: Aristotelian metaphysics
  • 1.4 God the Lord and the silent woman: the patriarchal monotheisms
  • 1.5 Human dignity and persistent paternalism: the European Partial Enlightenment
  • 1.6 Work and love, gender and national characters: the 19th century
  • 1.7 A divided economy
  • 1.8 Nature as a boundary in itself and the question of meaning
  • 1.9 Another dualism: secularism and the question of meaning
  • 1.10 Post-dualistic beginnings and the return of the question of meaning to the public sphere
  • 1.11 Economy and ecology

2 Separatisms, integrations and denial

  • 2.1 Simplifying the (intentionally) complicated: schematic reductions
  • 2.2 Separatist inversions: matriarchy – wildness – négritude…
  • 2.3 Types of integration: equality—aid programs—monetization
  • 2.4 Refusal: from deception to un-deception

3 From post-dichotomous Durcheinander to a different paradigm

  • 3.1 Durcheinander and the paradigm shift
  • 3.2 The necessary re-centering of the economy
  • 3.3 Care as a critique of normal economics
  • 3.4 From a narrow to a broad concept of care, or: The care-centered economy
  • 3.5 The political relevance of a paradigm shift in economics

4 Rediscovering what has been taken for granted: an open-ended list

  • 4.1 Metaphorical work
  • 4.2 Social media
  • 4.3 Peninsulas against the current
  • 4.4 Ecological social policy
  • 4.5 Departure from the secondary contradiction
  • 4.6 Dirty work: searching for traces
  • 4.7 The thinking of natality
  • 4.8 The other in between: post-dichotomous reconstruction of the religious
  • 4.9 Sumak kawsay and gross national happiness
  • 4.10 From human dignity to the dignity of living beings
  • 4.11 Queer ecology
  • 4.12 Care revolution

Taking the next steps


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Christopher DeBoer

For a few years I have been saying that the two most dangerous ideas of modernity are as follows:

1) It is acceptable in any shape or form, to oppress, subjugate, or inflict violence in any manner, upon another human being.

2) The idea or assumption, subconscious or conscious, that human beings are separate from nature

Vielen Danke Dr. Praetorius for what I regard as such seminal and ground-breaking work necessary to influence power structures towards a new paradigm.