Healthy Societies Symposium 2022: Infrastructures of Care – Foundations and Fractures
Healthy Societies Symposium 2022:
Infrastructures of Care – Foundations and Fractures
The Sydney Centre for Healthy Societies reflects on ‘Infrastructures of Care’ in a rapidly changing world.
Online event, please register to join
Profound social transformations are reshaping the ways we ‘care’ (or fail to care) for ourselves, each other, our environments and our societies. The very materialities, moralities and infrastructures of contemporary care are being radically reformed and, at times, called into question.
‘Infrastructures’, in this sense, refers to the interrelated and entwined social, material, sociotechnical and moral threads that together form the fabric of our societies. Much more than physical infrastructure such as electricity grids and motorways (though these are important too), infrastructures – as we use the term here – refers to the diverse and diffuse resources, practices and ideas that support and sustain social life in its current forms.
While often taken for granted in the smooth functioning of social life, infrastructures of care become visible when they break down, when they don’t ‘work’, or when they ‘work’ to (re)produce inequalities between different social groups. The COVID-19 pandemic has thus brought the (usually-invisible) infrastructures that enable or disable care into sharper relief. Importantly, however, these infrastructures are not sui-generis – they do not endure without continued commitment, investment and renewal. As ’works in progress’, they are thus ideal points of intervention in the pursuit of healthier (and more equitable) societies.
This year’s SCHS Healthy Societies Symposium – #HS22 – brings togethers humanities and social science scholars from around the globe in a half-day program to generate new knowledge about the infrastructuring of care in the Anthropocene.