Conference Contribution Details
Mandatory Fields
Flynn, A.
Neoliberalism, misrecognition, maldistribution and health inequalities in Ireland: Rendering the older person invisible.
Croke Park, Dublin.
Oral Presentation
Optional Fields

The neoliberal approach to social and health related policies in Ireland could be said to exacerbate health inequalities. This approach to welfare and provision of care champions the role of the individual, permitting the state to relinquish its distributive responsibilities, all the while couching the ideology within the nomenclature of consumer choice and individualism. A resultant schism has therefore been formed between sections of society, amplifying the pre-existing inequalities and reducing levels of social cohesion and social capital. The older person in Ireland finds themselves at risk of becoming invisible within the modern social order. Having worked and contributed to the tax revenue of the country for much of their lives, having perhaps raised their family, all the while assuming a functional visible social role, they are now the victims of a beauracratic and managerial healthcare system that, rather than fairly distributing health provisions to them, seeks instead to renege on a contract previously accepted to exist between state and citizen.

The subsequent misrecognition of the needs of these individuals results in injustice, humiliation, neglect and disrespect. This paper will explore the concepts of redistribution and recognition as approaches to health inequalities and social injustice, and will examine how the politics of difference and the politics of equality play out in the context of Irish healthcare. This discussion will be framed within the frameworks of health inequalities research and social justice.