Five (5) essay questions (below), of which you may choose any three (3) to complete. In completing your essays, please be sure to directly reference course material (with citations as appropriate), and to identify and explain key concepts, arguments, and examples from throughout the course.
The length of essays may vary, but students should expect that a complete essay will likely be between 1-2 singled spaced (typed) pages (each).
– Throughout the course we have identified ways in which care work is “erased” – or made invisible. How do social norms related to gender, race/ethnicity, and social class contribute to the invisibility of care work?
Drawing on at least two (2) different sources from across the semester, discuss at least three (3) ways ideas about social location (gender, race/ethnicity, social class) reinforce the invisibility of care work. What are the consequences of these ideologies for marginalised communities?
– While the unpaid work of caring for families, in particular, is often demanding, those who do it typically describe their experiences as simultaneously oppressive and empowering. How does the practice of compensating (paying for) this labour – so that it is done by workers – change that experience (if at all)?
Drawing on the experiences of the nannies described in MacDonald’s Shadow Mothers, consider the relationship between the oppressive character of the care work these “shadow mothers” perform and the ways in which these workers assert power in these employment relationships.
– Much of the care work we have read about this semester requires those doing it – whether paid or unpaid – to manage their own emotions as part of their job.
Drawing on at least two (2) different sources from across the semester, consider the ways in which emotional regulation is a part of the work of caring. What are the appropriate emotions for paid care workers?
How are these different for unpaid care workers? In what ways does working “for family” (whether traditional families or fictive kin) complicate the work of caring? How does this additional emotional component impact the way such labour is valued?