Keywords: care, labour, needs, wants, gift, alienation, interdisciplinarity, green economics, interdisciplinary economics, material well-being, non-material well-being
Theorising care: a possible defence of interdisciplinarity in economics
Both interdisciplinarity and care are in their own way central concerns for green economics. Green economics has on its agenda a more integrated approach of the economy, the environment and the social. As such, its approach is inherently interdisciplinary. And the concern with the environment calls on a way of relating to the latter in which care, as an orientation, a task and way of acting all play a crucial part. This paper examines the theorising of care in economics, and undertakes to demonstrate that the question addresses categories underpinned by strict economic as well as 'non-economic' presuppositions about the world we live in. By taking care of labour as our category of analysis, and taking as our vantage point the two way relationship between material and non-material well-being, the paper proceeds to show how the various disciplines come together in a fully fledged theory of care in economics.