Home Care Fault Lines: Understanding Tensions and Creating Alliances

Conference Highlights, In-person, Keynote Speakers, Panels and Plenary

Home care is a window into the complexity of inequality and provides insight for how we might challenge injustice at multiple levels. In Home Care Fault Lines: Understanding Tensions and Creating Alliances (2020, Cornell University’s ILR Press), I argue that analyzing both tensions and the possibilities for alliances is essential for understanding, and undermining, interlocking gendered, classed, racialized and disabling power relations in care. How can we arrange home care to minimize tensions produced through these interlocking axes of oppression and maximize alliances between workers, aging and disabled people, and their organizations? I answer this question by comparing how four government-funded programs, in Toronto and Los Angeles, differ in the way they arrange home care. Focusing on the most personal in-home support, that is paid help with daily activities like bathing and eating, my analysis rests on over 300 interviews and reveals how a variety of players shape the conditions of home care service and work in unique contexts. In this talk, I will first give an overview of the argument of the book, and the cases it is based on. I will then delve into one of the Toronto cases in more depth, the Home Care medical model, and consider my findings in light of recent events, including the COVID-19 pandemic. I will end by discussing how my current and future research projects, on new home care cases, extend the framework developed in Home Care Fault Lines.

Moderator: Dr. Judith Taylor, University of Toronto

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Cynthia Cranford, University of Toronto

Dr. Cranford’s book, Home Care Fault Lines: Understanding Tensions and Creating Alliances.  Cornell University Press, 2020 was selected to receive the 2022 John Porter Tradition of Excellence Book Award.

The committee felt that the book addressed a major topic of fundamental and growing importance within Canada, drawing upon many years of in-depth research, positioned in a theoretically nuanced way, and with clear, careful, reflective and scholarly analysis that never loses sight of the humanity of participants.

Organizer: Sherry Fox, Canadian Sociological Association