Dignity and Emotional Labor in Care Work

Guest lecture Jason Rodriquez. Graduate School Conference 2018, April 12th, Universiteit voor Humanistiek, Utrecht

Jason Rodriquez (University of Massachusetts) will talk about his book, Labors of Love. Nursing homes and the structure of care work in which he examines how organizational dynamics shape nursing home care. The regulatory system normalizes chronic understaffing and work overload, turning residents into an embodiment of reimbursable activities. A perfect show for the Inspectorate hides quality issues and onerous workplace conditions from view. Nevertheless, staff members who did not leave for better jobs develop emotional strategies to make their work meaningful, resist management and protect dignity of nursing home residents. They do so in ways, however, that make them vulnerable to exploitation.