Transforming Economies of Care

The second event in the Transforming Economies of Care seminar series focusing on finance took place on Monday 13 December. The slides used by Colin Haslam and Kevin Lucas are available and can be accessed by clicking on their names in this post. Although Kendra Strauss did not use slides, her paper drew upon her recent article:

Strauss, K. (2021). Beyond crisis? Using rent theory to understand the restructuring of publicly funded seniors’ care in British Columbia, Canada. Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space

The next event organised by Distinguished Professor Bev Skeggs and Daisy Baker (Lancaster University), Dr Emma Dowling (University of Vienna) and Dr Amy Horton (University College London) will built on the first two in developing thinking and resources about the political economies of care.

On Monday 24 January 2021, 4-5.30pm (16.00-17.30 UK GMT) CASEI will be hosting the third event on ‘Platform Care’. This features contributions from Karin Schwiter (Assistant Professor in Labour Geography at the University of Zurich), Simon Yuill (artist, writer and software engineer) and Emma Back (founder of Equal Care) with Helen Hester (Professor of Gender, Technology and Cultural Politics at the University of West London) as discussant. The event will be convened virtually on Zoom in conjunction with The Sociological Review.

When people speak of gig economies they usually refer to transport and delivery sectors such as Uber and Deliveroo. Far less attention is given to platforms that advertise care workers. Yet these platforms have developed rapidly and now form a significant “marketplace” for a range of caring services ranging from nannies to dog walkers. They usually operate significant “gig” features such as a competition over rates of pay, no health or safety checks, and reliance on customer ratings and reviews. This session will discuss what happens to care workers when care becomes platformed, and also what happens to social responsibility on platforms with little accountability. Care work has already been subject to destruction of protections and privatisation through subcontracting agencies in which wages and conditions have “raced to the bottom”, a persistent devaluation globally of wages. The experience of the COVID-19 pandemic starkly revealed how the value of care work is rarely recognised, so what happens when it operates in similar ways to other labour that has been gigged and deskilled?

You can register for the seminar through Eventbrite here. Please direct any queries to Dr Michael Lambert (CASEI):