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For Love or Money

For Love or Money

Nancy Folbre editor
Copyright Date: 2012
Published by: Russell Sage Foundation
Pages: 304
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  • Book Info
    For Love or Money
    Book Description:

    As women moved into the formal labor force in large numbers over the last forty years, care work—traditionally provided primarily by women—has increasingly shifted from the family arena to the market. Child care, elder care, care for the disabled, and home care now account for a growing segment of low-wage work in the United States. But the expanding market provision of care has created new economic anxieties and raised pointed questions: Why do women continue to do most care work, both paid and unpaid? Why does care work remain low paid when the quality of care is so highly valued? In For Love and Money, an interdisciplinary team of experts explores the theoretical dilemmas of care provision and provides an unprecedented empirical overview of the looming problems for the care sector in the United States. Drawing on diverse disciplines and areas of expertise, For Love and Money develops an innovative framework to analyze existing care policies and suggest potential directions for care policy and future research. Contributors Paula England, Nancy Folbre, and Carrie Leana explore the range of motivations for caregiving, such as familial responsibility or limited job prospects, and why both love and money can be efficient motivators. They also examine why women tend to specialize in the provision of care, citing factors like job discrimination, social pressure, or the personal motivation to provide care reported by many women. Suzanne Bianchi, Nancy Folbre, and Douglas Wolf estimate how much unpaid care is being provided in the United States and show that low-income families rely more on unpaid family members for their child and for elder care than do affluent families. With low wages and little savings, these families often find it difficult to provide care and earn enough money to stay afloat. Candace Howes, Carrie Leana and Kristin Smith investigate the dynamics within the paid care sector and find problematic wages and working conditions, including high turnover, inadequate training and a “pay penalty” for workers who enter care jobs. These conditions have consequences: poor job quality in child care and adult care also leads to poor care quality. In their chapters, Janet Gornick, Candace Howes and Laura Braslow provide a systematic inventory of public policies that directly shape the provision of care for children or for adults who need personal assistance, such as family leave, child care tax credits and Medicaid-funded long-term care. They conclude that income and variations in states’ policies are the greatest factors determining how well, and for whom, the current system works. Despite the demand for care work, very little public policy attention has been devoted to it. Only three states, for example, have enacted paid family leave programs. Paid or unpaid, care costs those who provide it. At the heart of For Love and Money is the understanding that the quality of care work in the United States matters not only for those who receive care but also for society at large, which benefits from the nurturance and maintenance of human capabilities. This volume clarifies the pressing need for America to fundamentally rethink its care policies and increase public investment in this increasingly crucial sector.

    eISBN: 978-1-61044-790-4
    Subjects: Sociology

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. About the Authors
    (pp. vii-viii)
  4. Authorship and Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-x)
  5. Introduction
    (pp. xi-xviii)
    Nancy Folbre

    Care represents a distinctive form of work with important implications for living standards, economic opportunities, and quality of life. Primary responsibility for the care of children, the frail elderly, and people experiencing sickness or disability has traditionally been assigned to women, reinforcing the economic significance of gender (Blau, Brinton, and Grusky 2006). As market provision of care services has increased in the United States in recent years, women have continued to play a predominant role. Low-income African American and immigrant women are heavily overrepresented in the most poorly paid care jobs, and they face particularly serious problems balancing the demands...

  6. Chapter 1 Defining Care
    (pp. 1-20)
    Nancy Folbre and Erik Olin Wright

    While scholarship on care work has burgeoned in recent years, most researchers tend to specialize in analysis of either unpaid care provided within families or paid care provided through wage employment, overlooking similarities and synergies between the two. Quantitative studies often lump care work in with other low-wage jobs, understating the significant impact of intrinsic motivation and the importance of personal attachment. Qualitative studies, on the other hand, seldom explain the links between the distinctive nature of care and measurable outcomes such as pay, working conditions, and care outcomes. Research on care also tends to accumulate in silos determined by...

  7. Chapter 2 Motivating Care
    (pp. 21-39)
    Paula England, Nancy Folbre and Carrie Leana

    The simple contrast between doing something for love and doing something for money conceals enormous variation in the forms that intrinsic and extrinsic motivation can take, as well as the ways in which these forms can be combined. ″Love″ can represent many different types of motivations: a sense of moral obligation, a social norm of responsibility, a general concern for other people, or a very specific concern for the well-being of a specific person. ″Money″ can also represent many possibilities: a weekly paycheck, a share of someone′s income, an expected bequest, or future payback for an informal service rendered. What...

  8. Chapter 3 Unpaid Care Work
    (pp. 40-64)
    Suzanne Bianchi, Nancy Folbre and Douglas Wolf

    Care for family members is a central feature of the human life cycle. Most of us are tenderly cared for as children and hope to be tenderly cared for in old age. In between, most of us provide some care for family members and friends. Current descriptions of unpaid care work tend to focus on one particular demographic group. In this chapter, we examine unpaid care for children, both healthy and with disabilities, and for adults who need personal assistance (because of age-related or other disabilities), emphasizing the features common to both. We discuss both the economic and health correlates...

  9. Chapter 4 Paid Care Work
    (pp. 65-91)
    Candace Howes, Carrie Leana and Kristin Smith

    That most people enter caring occupations in order to earn a living and help support their family members does not diminish the importance of the moral values, caring norms, and personal attachments that often infuse their performance on the job. In this chapter, we call attention to the motivational commitments and institutional similarities of care work across very different occupations because these are relevant to the development of political alliances and sectoral labor force development policies. However, we focus on two sets of care occupations that parallel the unpaid tasks described in the preceding chapter: child care and adult care....

  10. Chapter 5 Valuing Care
    (pp. 92-111)
    Nancy Folbre

    Both unpaid and paid care work represent important contributions to economic and social well-being, but how should we assign a value to them? Measuring both in terms of some common denominator can help us assess their relative importance and understand their joint outcomes, and estimates of the time devoted to care activities provide one such common denominator. Estimates of time use can be valued in monetary terms by reference to some market equivalent, such as an hourly wage rate. Although efforts to provide accurate monetary valuation of nonmarket work yield only approximate results, they shine a bright light on otherwise...

  11. Chapter 6 The Care Policy Landscape
    (pp. 112-139)
    Janet Gornick, Candace Howes and Laura Braslow

    ″Care policy″ is not a common category in American social policy research, which often organizes social policies simply by the characteristics of recipients. The widely referenced congressional publicationCompilation of the Social Security Laws(the ″Green Book″), for example, categorizes U.S. social policies primarily according to the groups served: the elderly, survivors of deceased workers, people with disabilities, the blind, the unemployed, veterans, mothers, and children. Academic social policy typically disaggregates policies into broad domains such as income support, employment, housing, and health policy (Blau and Abramovitz 2010). In the political arena, public initiatives with budgetary components are often separate...

  12. Chapter 7 The Disparate Impacts of Care Policy
    (pp. 140-182)
    Janet Gornick, Candace Howes and Laura Braslow

    National, state, and local governments provide a complex array of services, benefits, and regulations that support children and adults in need of care and their caregivers. In this chapter, we assess how well the current system is working—and for whom. Assessing the adequacy of U.S. care policy provisions requires identifying a set of standards against which to evaluate these provisions. Yet, as decades of policy analysis scholarship have established, there is no single framework to use in assessing the adequacy of policy provisions. In our case, one approach would be to focus on the efficiency or effectiveness of existing...

  13. Chapter 8 A Care Policy and Research Agenda
    (pp. 183-204)
    Nancy Folbre, Candace Howes and Carrie Leana

    In preceding chapters, we have developed a unified analysis of unpaid and paid care for three groups with particularly intense needs: children, individuals with disabilities, and the frail elderly. We have shown that the costs of care provision continue to be divided unequally between men and women, and that shortfalls in public support for care provision reduce living standards and intensify social inequality. In this conclusion, we summarize our analysis of care work and explain its implications for public policy. We also outline an agenda for policy-relevant research.

    We have offered three theoretical reasons for an emphasis on care work...

  14. Appendix: Measuring Care Work
    (pp. 205-228)
    Nancy Folbre and Douglas Wolf
  15. References
    (pp. 229-268)
  16. Index
    (pp. 269-286)