Caring for a Living: Migrant Women, Aging Citizens, and Italian Families

Hardcover | June 17, 2016

byFrancesca Degiuli

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Today's world is aging at a great speed, and although people living longer represents one of the greatest achievements of the last century, the extension of life expectancy does not necessarily correspond to an extension of healthy lives. Aging populations, particularly those with a highpercentage of oldest old, are often burdened with chronic conditions that require extended long-term care. Deciding a) who provides said care, and b) in what forms are key problems that will soon affect a growing number of post-industrial and mid-income countries. Caring for a Living contributes tothis debate by exploring the organization of long-term care in Italy, a country already in the midst of an eldercare crisis. There, the answer to this problem has taken the shape of home eldercare assistance, an arrangement whereby long term care services are bought in the market in the form ofprivate and individualized assistance by families sometimes with economic support provided by the State. The providers of these services, commonly known as "badanti" (minders), are, for the most part, immigrant women coming from different areas of the world for whom the state has made specialprovisions in terms of immigration law. By analyzing the emergence and development of this arrangement and the role that the state, Italian families, and the workers themselves play in shaping and in defining it, this text provides timely insights on the nature of long-term care and its requirements, on the specific needs of familiesfacing this issue, on the changing role of the neoliberal State, and on the ways in which global political and economic processes influence and shape an apparently individually based solution to long-term care. In addition, by focusing on home eldercare assistance as an occupation, Caring for aLiving provides a deeper understanding of: the tasks involved; the discrepancies between what is deemed worthy of pay and what is not; who is doing the job and why; and the ways in which gender and racial relations are produced, negotiated, and challenged among the workers, the employers, and theelders themselves.

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Today's world is aging at a great speed, and although people living longer represents one of the greatest achievements of the last century, the extension of life expectancy does not necessarily correspond to an extension of healthy lives. Aging populations, particularly those with a highpercentage of oldest old, are often burdened with...

Francesca Degiuli, PhD, is Assistant Professor of Sociology at Fairleigh Dickinson University. She is also a Visiting Fellow in the Center for European and Mediterranean Studies at NYU. Dr. Degiuli's research interests lie at the intersection of aging, gender, immigration, and globalization.

other books by Francesca Degiuli

Format:HardcoverDimensions:216 pages, 9.25 × 6.13 × 3 inPublished:June 17, 2016Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019998901X

ISBN - 13:9780199989010

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