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Constructing legality: theorizing work and the challenges for mobilization of home care workers

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Aides providing long-term care in home- and community-based settings in the US experience low wages and poor conditions. Worker advocates seek to improve care jobs through policy change, a multifaceted endeavour given the complexity of health and labour policies in a federal system. This theoretical overview draws on labour process theory to delineate domains of work and legal consciousness theory to highlight challenges related to ‘sources of authority’ governing each domain. For the context of publicly funded care provided through agencies, we identify aide actions related to these sources that could support rights claiming and suggest research to inform policy improvements.
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Keywords: advocacy; carers’ rights; employment; home care; labour markets; paid work

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: City University of New York, USA 2: Georgia State University, USA

Publication date: February 2021

This article was made available online on December 4, 2020 as a Fast Track article with title: "Constructing legality: theorizing work and the challenges for mobilization of home care workers".

More about this publication?
  • The International Journal of Care and Caring (IJCC) is a new multidisciplinary journal designed to advance scholarship and debate in the important and expanding field of care and caring. Multidisciplinary and international in scope, it publishes high quality contributions on care, caring and carers from all regions of the world. IJCC has a broad focus, covering care and caring for people of any age who have long-term conditions, disabilities or frailties, or who are seriously ill or near the end of life. It explores the economic, organisational, political, social, legal, familial, transnational and ethical settings in which this care occurs.

    IJCC is concerned with care provided as paid work and as support for family members, friends or neighbours; with care in home, community and residential settings; and with formal and informal care relations, organisation, systems and markets. It focuses on 'receiving' and 'giving' care and on the gendered nature and social, political, legal and economic status and circumstances of care and caring. It debates the support needed in localities, workplaces and health systems to make care and caring feasible and rewarding for carers and dignified and supportive of independence for care recipients. IJCC welcomes contributions on caring relationships, the ethics and political economy of care, care as a focus of moral philosophy and feminist analysis and care and caring as sources of claims-making and challenge and as the spur for national and global social movements.

    The journal encourages critical engagement with policy and practice developments and aims to include contributions from different areas of the world in each edition. Its regular Debates and Issues section features dialogue with carers’ organisations, policymakers, trade unions, employers and academics, to encourage global dialogue and international sharing of ideas, expertise and experience.

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