Making Care Count: A Century of Gender, Race, and Paid Care Work

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Rutgers University Press, Feb 17, 2011 - Social Science - 204 pages
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There are fundamental tasks common to every society: children have to be raised, homes need to be cleaned, meals need to be prepared, and people who are elderly, ill, or disabled need care. Day in, day out, these responsibilities can involve both monotonous drudgery and untold rewards for those performing them, whether they are family members, friends, or paid workers. These are jobs that cannot be outsourced, because they involve the most intimate spaces of our everyday lives--our homes, our bodies, and our families.

Mignon Duffy uses a historical and comparative approach to examine and critique the entire twentieth-century history of paid care work--including health care, education and child care, and social services--drawing on an in-depth analysis of U.S. Census data as well as a range of occupational histories. Making Care Count focuses on change and continuity in the social organization along with cultural construction of the labor of care and its relationship to gender, racial-ethnic, and class inequalities. Debunking popular understandings of how we came to be in a "care crisis," this book stands apart as an historical quantitative study in a literature crowded with contemporary, qualitative studies, proposing well-developed policy approaches that grow out of the theoretical and empirical arguments.


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Chapter 1 Conceptualizing Care
Many Hands Heavy Work
Chapter 3 Transforming Nurturance Creating Expert Care
Chapter 4 Managing Nurturant Care in the New Economy
Chapter 5 Doing the Dirty Work
Chapter 6 Making Care Count
Data and Methods
About the Author

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About the author (2011)

Mignon Duffy is an assistant professor of sociology and a faculty associate of the Center for Women and Work at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell.

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