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Title: The invisibility and complexity of domiciliary carers' work, around, in and out of their labour process
Author: Wibberley, Gemma Louise
Awarding Body: Lancaster University
Current Institution: Lancaster University
Date of Award: 2011
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This thesis draws attention to the under-recognised nature of domiciliary carers.' work in Britain, and the challenges that these workers face. The difficulty. complexity and skill level of the work of the domiciliary carer has increased significantly over the last 20 years, but there has been little public or academic recognition of what it involves. The research seeks to rectify this through an analysis of empirical data collected via interviews, observations and shadowing, with domiciliaries, their managers and stakeholders. While there has been only limited research on domiciliaries' work, there are extensive literatures on care and on labour process theory. The thesis shows that there is tension between these fields in their portrayal of how an 'employee', as opposed to a 'carer', will behave. To analyse conflicting accounts both within the literature and practice, the thesis utilises Bolton's conceptual framework of 'around, in and out of the labour process' (Bolton and Wibberley 2010). 'Around' encompasses the contextual factors that constrain or enable domiciliary care, 'in' describes domiciliaries' official prescribed labour process, whereas 'out' reveals their unofficial practices. I argue that this modified labour process approach presents a more complete picture of their work. The key 'around' factors are financial constraints and the ideals of a 'good' domiciliary. These have expanded and intensified domiciliaries' official role, demonstrated by demanding care plans, and pressurised rotas. However, these supposedly comprehensive documents only present a partial account of dorniciliaries' labour process, for a substantial amount of their work takes place 'outside' of their formal role and is therefore not recognised or rewarded, including activities such as travelling between clients, performing emotional labour and managing the workplace. Equally unrecognised is the indeterminacy of their labour power. Also, I argue that the difficulty of their work is not acknowledged either politically or economically. In sum, I demonstrate emphatically that domiciliary care is not just making tea.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available