- STAFF PICKS
- GIFTS + GIFT CARDS
- SELL BOOKS
- FIND A STORE
Ships in 1 to 3 days
available for shipping or prepaid pickup only
Available for In-store Pickup
in 7 to 12 days
More copies of this ISBN
This title in other editions
Caring for America: Home Health Workers in the Shadow of the Welfare Stateby Eileen Boris
Synopses & Reviews
In this sweeping narrative history from the Great Depression of the 1930s to the Great Recession of today, Caring for America rethinks both the history of the American welfare state from the perspective of care work and chronicles how home care workers eventually became one of the most vibrant forces in the American labor movement. Eileen Boris and Jennifer Klein demonstrate the ways in which law and social policy made home care a low-waged job that was stigmatized as welfare and relegated to the bottom of the medical hierarchy.
For decades, these front-line caregivers labored in the shadows of a welfare state that shaped the conditions of the occupation. Disparate, often chaotic programs for home care, which allowed needy, elderly, and disabled people to avoid institutionalization, historically paid poverty wages to the African American and immigrant women who constituted the majority of the labor force. Yet policymakers and welfare administrators linked discourses of dependence and independence-claiming that such jobs would end clients' and workers' "dependence" on the state and provide a ticket to economic independence. The history of home care illuminates the fractured evolution of the modern American welfare state since the New Deal and its race, gender, and class fissures. It reveals why there is no adequate long-term care in America.
Caring for America is much more than a history of social policy, however; it is also about a powerful contemporary social movement. At the front and center of the narrative are the workers-poor women of color-who have challenged the racial, social, and economic stigmas embedded in the system. Caring for America traces the intertwined, sometimes conflicting search of care providers and receivers for dignity, self-determination, and security. It highlights the senior citizen and independent living movements; the civil rights organizing of women on welfare and domestic workers; the battles of public sector unions; and the unionization of health and service workers. It rethinks the strategies of the U.S. labor movement in terms of a growing care work economy. Finally, it makes a powerful argument that care is a basic right for all and that care work merits a living wage.
Through a sweeping analytical narrative, from the Great Depression of the 1930s to the Great Recession of today, Caring for America shows how law and social policy shaped home care into a low-wage job, stigmatized as part of public welfare, primarily funded through Medicaid, and relegated to the bottom of the medical hierarchy. Care work became a job for African American and immigrant women that kept them in poverty, while providing independence from institutionalization for needy elderly and disabled people. But while the state organized home care, it did not do so without eliciting contestation and confrontation from the citizens themselves who gave and received it.
Authors Eileen Boris and Jennifer Klein trace the intertwined, sometimes conflicting search of care providers and receivers for dignity, self-determination, security, and personal and social worth. This book highlights social movements of senior citizens for disability rights and independent living, the civil rights organizing of women on welfare and domestic workers, the battles of public sector unions, and the unionization of health and service workers. It rethinks the history of the American welfare state from the perspective of care work, all the while re-examining the strategies of the U.S. labor movement in terms of a growing care work economy. An unprecedented study, Caring for America serves as a definitive historical account of how public policy has impacted major modern movements and trends in class, race, and gender politics in the United States.
About the Author
Eileen Boris is Hull Professor and Chair, Department of Feminist Studies, at UC-Santa Barbara.
Jennifer Klein is Professor of History at Yale University
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Preface: The Personal is Prologue
Introduction: Making the Private Public
Chapter 1: Neither Nurses nor Maids: New Deal Origins
Chapter 2: Rehabilitative Missions: Social Welfare and Medical Models of Home Care
Chapter 3: Caring for the Great Society: The War on Poverty Discovers the Service Sector
Chapter 4: Welfare Wars, Seventies Style: From Disability Rights to Neo-Liberalism
Chapter 5: "Take Us Out of Slavery": Household Employees Become Home Attendants
Chapter 6: "The Union Is Us": Organizing in the Age of Reagan
Chapter 7: "We Were the Invisible Workforce": The Triumph of SEIU
Epilogue: Rethinking Home Care: Respect, Dignity and Social Rights
What Our Readers Are Saying
Other books you might like
Business » Human Resource Management