Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
The Caring SelfThe Work Experiences of Home Care Aides$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Clare L. Stacey

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780801449857

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801449857.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM Cornell University Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.cornell.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Cornell University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in Cornell for personal use. date: 25 June 2022

Doing the Dirty Work

Doing the Dirty Work

The Physical and Emotional Labor of Home Care

(p.43) 2 Doing the Dirty Work
The Caring Self

Clare L. Stacey

Cornell University Press

This chapter describes in ethnographic detail the nature and intensity (both physical and emotional) of direct care of the elderly and disabled, exploring the constraints facing aides who provide direct care. Certain conditions of work—such as financial insecurity, on-the-job injury, lack of training, and bureaucratic constraints on care—produce distress and fatigue for home care aides. With respect to emotional labor, the chapter establishes that there are times when aides' emotional ties to clients lead to feelings of burnout, exhaustion, fatigue, and a sense of alienation. Aides also find themselves providing “surplus care,” working additional hours without compensation or offering to do tasks outside their scope of work, simply because there is no one else to do it. In these moments, broader institutional and organizational realities directly impact the way in which aides experience their emotional labor. These factors reinforce the inequality associated with paid care work, with potential consequences for worker satisfaction and burnout.

Keywords:   home care aides, home care, direct care, caregivers, caregiving, emotional ties, inequality, emotional labor, paid care work

Cornell Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.