Balancing care and work: a case study of recognition in a social enterprise

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This paper discusses a case study of a Dutch work-integration social enterprise (WISE) to add to the debate on the contribution of employment to the citizenship of intellectually disabled people and those experiencing mental health conditions. In current welfare state policies, the value of labour market participation is narrowed down to regular employment, as workplace support and care provisions are seen as stigmatising and segregating. We argue that a more nuanced understanding is needed of the intersection of support arrangements with the benefits of employment. Building on ‘recognition theory’ by the German philosopher Honneth, our findings show that the work-integration social enterprise under study is successfully balancing the contrasting demands of logics of care and work, leading to experiences of ‘recognition.’ However, this balance is fragile and does not undo the misrecognition of disabled people as unable to live up to the productivity norms of a capitalist labour market.
Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)972-992
Number of pages21
JournalDisability & Society
Publication statusPublished - 23 Sept 2019

Cite this