This article draws on two qualitative studies on family care conducted in the US and the UK (between 2006 and 2008 the first one and between 2008 and 2011 the second one). It highlights convergences and divergences in the care practices of disabled and same-sex families, and illustrates the importance of shedding light on both the ‘bright’ and ‘dark’ sides of care. Adding a focus on different kinds of carers is not only important theoretically—to fill the gaps—but also strategically—to increase equality. Since difference and inequality co-determine one another, and since heterosexism and ableism will undoubtedly continue, the inclusion of diverse subjects into the discourse on ‘care’, the contextualization of care within situated interaction (Ridgeway and Correll, 2000), and the accent on the positive/energizing aspects of care might be the most effective way not only to achieve greater care related equality but also to increase the symbolic importance that people attach to this crucial social phenomenon.
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