Who Deserves What, and on What Grounds?
Both care workers and patients are concerned about the reciprocities of the relationship between them. From the patients’ side, the reciprocities are framed as issues of money: are they getting sufficient work and respect from their employees, in exchange for the life savings they are spending? Are they subject to theft by the strangers they are allowing into their homes? Patients expect to buy care and respect as consumers. Care workers, on the other hand, attend to respect and appreciation—whether in the form of redistribution or in the form of interpersonal recognition. Furthermore, some see themselves as doing God’s work, spreading love and encouragement by caring for someone, rather than giving their labor in exchange for money. As such, they do not expect reciprocity to come immediately and from their patients, but on God’s time, in their hour of need.
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