University of Cambridge > > Centre of African Studies Lent Seminar Series > Intimacy and Inequality; Conceptualising Care Labour in Kenya

Intimacy and Inequality; Conceptualising Care Labour in Kenya

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This Talk is part of the Centre of African Studies Lent term Seminar Series: Gender in Africa

Over a decade ago, in her influential paper Global Care Chains and Emotional Surplus Value, Hochschild introduced the idea of ‘global care chains’ to feminist studies of care work and emotional labour. Taking global statistics on migration and the feminisation of labour as her starting point, Hochschild examined the role of migrant women as an essential component of today’s global care chains and explored what she described as a series of personal links between people across the globe based on the paid or unpaid work of caring. The expansion, increasing significance and global characteristics of care work are now widely recognised. Whilst the global care chain debate has been instructive – it has spawned both valuable theoretical insights and important empirical studies, ranging from the experience of illegality of migrant Basotho women workers in South Africa to men’s contribution to global care work – I will argue in this paper that its analytical focus on the global may have limited our investigations into and understanding of more common, localised forms of care.

This talk is part of the Centre of African Studies Lent Seminar Series series.

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