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Friday, April 6 • 3:30pm - 4:00pm
FR3.30.32 Who Cares? Lived Experiences of Home Care Aides in Milwaukee

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Recent academic attention to the experiences of paid caregivers emphasizes the growth of an industry fueled primarily by minority women’s emotional and physical labor. In an effort to further intersectional analyses on the financial and social constraints to providing quality care, this research examines the complex relationships between neoliberalism, gender, race, and class that affect Black women’s experiences as home care aides. This paper approaches the subject from a justice-based framework rooted Black Feminist Thought and is based on the concept of neighborhood effects. It focuses on the experiences of home care aides who live on Milwaukee’s North Side as a way of analyzing the implications of neoliberal policies for low-income Black women.

Employing an ethnographic strategy, this research includes semi-structured interviews with home care aides. By providing insight into the everyday lives of home care aides this project situates Black women’s social and economic development in urban centers while examining occupational segregation and changes in wage trends over time. This examination provides a robust understanding of the challenges presented with working in home care.

This research reveals women’s labor market “choices” in the face of neoliberal policies while exposing racialized and gendered disparities within the occupation. This paper argues that women’s positions in home care are the result of disinvestment in low-income minority communities, the lack of other opportunities, and the continuation of informal caregiving.

This study contributes to scholarly discussions on care work and minority women’s social and economic development in urban centers, as well as a growing national conversation on wage trend

Caitlin Taylor, University of Wisconsin—Milwaukee

Friday April 6, 2018 3:30pm - 4:00pm EDT
Provincial Ballroom (2nd Floor)