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Migrant Care Workers in Israel

Between Family, Market, and State

Hila Shamir

In the early 1990s, Israel opened its gates to migrant guest workers who were invited to work, on a temporary basis, in the agriculture, construction, and in-home care sectors. The in-home care sector developed quickly during those years due to the introduction of migrant workers coupled with the creation of a new welfare state benefit: a longterm care benefit that subsidized the employment of in-home care workers to assist dependent elderly and disabled Israelis. This article examines the legal and public policy ramifications of the transformation of Israeli families caused by the influx of migrant care workers into Israeli homes. Exploring the relationship between welfare, immigration, and employment laws, on the one hand, and marketized and non-marketized care relationships, on the other, it reveals the intimate links between public policy, 'private' families, and defamilialization processes.

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Gender, Psychologization, and Psychological Labor in China

Jie Yang

This article examines the psychologization trend in China by analyzing peiliao (companion to chat), a 'profession' promoted among laid-off women workers since the mid-1990s. Unlike other psychological caregivers who empathize or sympathize through imagining the situation of another who suffers, job counselors encourage those who become peiliao to invoke their direct experience of unemployment in their current care work. Such job training not only reinscribes these women's pain, but also naturalizes their psychological labor as part of their moral virtue, which downplays its social and economic value. The article suggests that peiliao and other psychologizing processes in China, rather than depoliticizing social struggle, constitute a new arena for politics in which marginalized women's psychological labor is exploited both to advance market development and to enact the therapeutic ethos of the ruling party.

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Personal and Professional Encompassment in Organizational Capacity Building

SOS Children’s Villages and Supportive Housing

Viktoryia Kalesnikava


This article examines how institutions mobilize the transitive capacity of concepts and categories to articulate and fulfil their professional functions. In my analysis, I draw on the everyday institutional practices of two organizations, SOS Children’s Villages and Supportive Housing, to illustrate how personal and professional domains are intertwined. Through ethnographic vignettes, I argue that organizational capacities to shape the social in the domain of caring work are achieved through the knowledge practices of professionals and experts, as they negotiate the ‘mothering’ and ‘home’. The institutions studied, in fulfilling personal roles for individual clients, ‘step in’ for the absence of other persons. Such person-oriented goals pose challenges to organizational practices and professional values, ultimately straining the capacities of these institutions to sustain themselves.

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The Janus face of austerity politics

Autonomy and dependence in contemporary Spain

Susana Narotzky


How is social reproduction possible in a context of precarious employment and austerity policies that have defunded welfare? The paradox of autonomy and dependence is present in intergenerational relations of support and conflict at various scales. It emerges, on the one hand, in the neoliberal injunction to be individually responsible for one's own present and future wellbeing, an aspiration that is impossible to fulfill. On the other hand, it is expressed in the increasing recourse by younger active cohorts to the care work and assets of their older kin— in particular retirement pensions and a home. Finally, policy calls to transform the pension system oppose younger and older generations in the accountings of social security financial sustainability and question the fairness of existing public pension schemes.

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Susan Zimmermann

This study argues that the changing relationship between paid work, unpaid work and paid care work and social services, and the struggle over this relationship and its implications, constituted key factors in shaping the ‘state socialist’ gender regime in Hungary from 1949 to the 1980s. The study is based on a wealth of recent scholarship, original sources and Hungarian research conducted during the state socialist period. It tries to give a balanced and inclusive analysis of key elements of women’s and gender history in the state socialist project of ‘catching-up development’ in a semi-peripheral patriarchal society, pointing to constraints, challenges and results of this project. Due to the complex interaction of a variety of actors and factors impacting on and shaping the state socialist gender regime not all women were affected in the same way by state socialist politics and gender struggles. Women’s status and opportunities, as well as gender relations, differed according to class, ethnicity and economic sector. As a rule, the gender struggle over state socialist family and gender arrangements in Hungary sought to reduce or temper tensions and conflicts by avoiding substantial or direct attack against the privileges of men both within the home and elsewhere.

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Olga Nieuwenhuys

is about the role of children in care work. As it stands, the literature is generally biased in favor of the dyad mother-child and obliterates the role of siblings, which is particularly crucial in families of the Global South. Particularly in large

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Hadas Weiss

care for workers and their families, which may occur outside the circuit of commodity production but is nevertheless essential to it ( Bhattachayra 2017 ). Underlining the unpaid care work of women, they hark back to a time when it had been subsidized

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The Obligation Is the Point

‘Refugee 2 Refugee’ Care and Solidarity in Greece

Zareena Grewal

beyond Palestinians that include Syrian, Iraqi, Afghan, Kurdish and even Greek youth. The R2R Care Work of Jafra Tarek, a Greek-Palestinian activist at the refugee-run NGO Jafra-Athens, explained to me how their grassroots refugee-run organisation

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Michele Friedner

intellectual ability enables this. Who are the people who are called to this kind of work, who are called to enter into relation? And how does political economic context influence the way that we can both conceptualize and engage in care work? Driessen

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Andrew Sanchez

‘emblematic’ of their social context. For this reason, activities such as waste work and care work are often perceived as either peripheral to ‘real’ economic processes or in some way characterized by a non-transformative maintenance of order. It is