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The business of care: the moral labour of care workers

Johnson, Eleanor K. 2015. The business of care: the moral labour of care workers. Sociology of Health & Illness 37 (1) , pp. 112-126. 10.1111/1467-9566.12184

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Abstract

Drawing on a case study conducted in a private residential care home, this article examines the emotional labour of care workers in relation to the moral construction of care and the practical experiences of work. An examination of the company's discursive attempts to construct, manage and demarcate its employees’ emotional labour was carried out alongside an exploration of the carers’ own interpretations of, and enrolment in, the care-giving role. The potential economic and emotional consequences of these occurrences were a key focus of the inquiry. The study found that carers, encouraged by the company, naturalised their emotional labour, and that this had contradictory consequences. On the one hand it justified the economic devaluation of the carer's work and left her vulnerable to emotional over-involvement and client aggression. On the other, it allowed the worker to defend the moral interests of those within her care and to see when those interests were in conflict with the economic motivations of her employer.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
ISSN: 0141-9889
Funders: ESRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 13 Mar 2019 13:23
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/72802

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