Paid to care:exploring emotional management in domiciliary care

Harrison, Rosie (2023) Paid to care:exploring emotional management in domiciliary care. PhD thesis, UNSPECIFIED.

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This thesis explores the emotional aspects of carework and how they relate to the provision of care within the specific economic and employment conditions of domiciliary care, where carers provide social care within the client’s home. The principal aim of this research is to provide a deeper understanding of the lived experiences of paid carers, by exploring how they complete care tasks which can be emotionally provocative for both carer and client. This requires theorising care provision as practice and theorising emotion as embodied and relational. Whilst my previous experiences working in the care sector have provided the impetus for the research, I wanted the data to reflect my participants’ experiences and concerns. Thus, I adopted an ethnographic methodology so that I could be led by participants and capture their lived experiences. Fieldwork were conducted in one domiciliary care company in North West England, and data were generated through observations in the care office, shadowing carers as they provided care within clients’ homes, and semi-structured interviews with carers and care office staff. My findings reveal the ways in which the spatial, relational and embodied aspects of carework can both provoke emotional responses and be used by carers to mitigate these emotional responses, pointing to the ways in which emotional management is embedded within the specificities of the interaction. An emotionally conducive interaction is based on the negotiation of recognisable ‘care-giver’ and ‘care-recipient’ subject positions, problematising the ways in which social care provision is organised and financialised as standardisable care tasks. One of the main contributions of this thesis is to highlight the ways in which the provision of care is embedded within spatial, temporal, embodied, emotional and relational specificities of the care relationship and the employment context, offering a more complex and nuanced perspective of both carework and emotional management.

Item Type:
Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information:
The PhD was externally funded by ESRC, NWSSDTP Grant Number ES/P000665/1.
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Research Output Funding/yes_externally_funded
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Deposited On:
21 Jul 2023 13:05
Last Modified:
12 Sep 2023 00:58