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Producing (im)mobilities in home care for the elderly: the role of home care agencies in Switzerland


Chau, Huey Shy (2019). Producing (im)mobilities in home care for the elderly: the role of home care agencies in Switzerland. International Journal of Ageing and Later Life, 13(2):23-50.

Abstract

The Free Movement of Persons Agreement has fostered the emergence of a new market for live-in care in Switzerland. Private care agencies recruit women from the European Union (EU) accession states and place them as live-in carers for the elderly in private households. This paper focuses on how these agencies organise these live-in care arrangements.  Drawing on concepts of the politics of mobility, I analyse the production of (im)mobilities through the placement and recruitment practices of care agencies and the power relations that underlie live-in care arrangements. The findings show that live-in care is constituted both by mobilities, exemplified by care workers’ circular movements and need to be highly mobile, and by care workers’ immobilities once they start working in a household. The care workers’ mobility is in turn enabled by the agencies’ placement practices and by infrastructures specialised in their movements, which serve as moorings.

Abstract

The Free Movement of Persons Agreement has fostered the emergence of a new market for live-in care in Switzerland. Private care agencies recruit women from the European Union (EU) accession states and place them as live-in carers for the elderly in private households. This paper focuses on how these agencies organise these live-in care arrangements.  Drawing on concepts of the politics of mobility, I analyse the production of (im)mobilities through the placement and recruitment practices of care agencies and the power relations that underlie live-in care arrangements. The findings show that live-in care is constituted both by mobilities, exemplified by care workers’ circular movements and need to be highly mobile, and by care workers’ immobilities once they start working in a household. The care workers’ mobility is in turn enabled by the agencies’ placement practices and by infrastructures specialised in their movements, which serve as moorings.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography
Dewey Decimal Classification:910 Geography & travel
Uncontrolled Keywords:Gender Studies, Migration, Social Geography, Cultural Geography, Care, Mobilities, Home care, Migrant worker, labour migration, care worker, Cultural Studies, Life-span and Life-course Studies, Health(social science),
Language:English
Date:6 December 2019
Deposited On:06 Feb 2020 08:59
Last Modified:06 Feb 2020 08:59
Publisher:Linköping University Electronic Press
ISSN:1652-8670
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.3384/ijal.1652-8670.18396
Related URLs:http://www.ep.liu.se/ej/ijal/ijal_article.asp?DOI=10.3384/ijal.1652-8670.18396 (Publisher)
Project Information:
  • : FunderSNSF
  • : Grant ID146551
  • : Project TitleCare markets: The role of care agencies in the commodification of elderly care
  • : Project Websitehttp://p3.snf.ch/Project-146551

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