Emergence of a Migrant Care Work Force – Impact and Interaction of Marketization and Social Policies in Receiving and Sending Countries

Wednesday, July 12, 2017
Forehall (University of Glasgow)
Karin Gottschall , Sociology, University of Bremen
Two striking features seem to characterize long term care (LCT) services: a high share of migrant workers and a spectrum of work organization ranging from formal employment in public services to informal work in private households.

A growing literature addresses the variety of LCT regulations by welfare regime and the often precarious working conditions of the overly female migrant workers. However, the interaction of different policies including labour market and family policies in creating different forms of organization of LCT in receiving countries have gained less attention. In the context of marketization of welfare though, it can be assumed that for example the (non-) availability of a respective workforce and their characteristics and training frameworks play a role for the different actors involved: for political actors in the decisions on regulation of care services, for workers’ decisions on migration and type of work and for the demanding households in their choice for organization of care service. Moreover, research on the impact of care worker migration in the sending countries tends to concentrate on the care chains effects, that is, the shift of care for children left behind to other family members. Less is known on the policy and institutional framework and the labour market effects of care worker migration in the sending countries.

To this background the presentation will discuss insights from the still sparse comparative research on these questions, scrutinize theoretical concepts for addressing the interaction of policies in the context of marketization and draw conclusions for future research.