Care is a broad topic that is difficult to define. Many critics and advocates of care theories are concerned with the lack of conceptual and practical clarity in defining care. This theoretical ambiguity has resulted in describing care as many different mental states, behaviours and meaning. Although individual knowledge and experiences in caring remain implicit in nursing practice, more attention needs to focus on the theoretical underpinnings of nursing epistemologies. The goal of research in caring science is to establish theoretical foundations that can be utilized to describe and explain the meaning of caring and the conditions for a caring practice. Although, historically the field of philosophy has positioned care as a moral duty, an obligation or as a trait of justice, this standpoint has primarily featured a masculine perspective. New conceptualizations of care have evolved which emphasize the centrality of relationships in social and gendered lives. Nursing practices involve knowledge of and relationships with diverse cultures and societies. As a result caring involves the gendered, cultural and socially diverse patterns of understanding and behaving in the world. Therefore the implications for care are embedded in the personal and social values and experiences associated with culture, gender, power, and politics.
Last date updated on July, 2014