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Inequalities of AgingParadoxes of Independence in American Home Care$
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Elana D. Buch

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781479810734

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479810734.001.0001

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Inheriting Care

Inheriting Care

Home Care Workers’ Lives

(p.62) 2 Inheriting Care
Inequalities of Aging

Elana D. Buch

NYU Press

Home care workers typically develop indispensable expertise caring for kin in difficult circumstances. This chapter presents the life histories of two home care workers, to argue that workers’ care for kin generates forms of moral imagination in which care practices are inextricably linked to notions of obligation, reciprocity, and sacrifice. For workers, these moral and domestic lessons become survival skills thanks to long histories of discriminatory social policy that regenerate the racial and gendered contours of poverty while funneling poor women of color into domestic and care jobs. Their stories highlight their resilient and creative responses to poverty, and their central role generating the independence of others.

Keywords:   home care workers, worker, care, poverty, family, social policy, women of color, care jobs, life history, race

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