Home/work: The Roles of Education, Literacy and Learning

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Conference - Care work in focus: the changing nature of work in care sectors

Care conference information

Migrant carer exploitation

Article from the Times

Article from the Guardian

BBC4 radio -Tens of thousands of foreign migrants work in the UK care sector. But many are exploited by the agencies and gangmasters who hire them. John Waite hears from some of these workers, and from the regulator who wants the power to regulate the care home industry - where not only the residents are vulnerable to abuse.

About the Project

Award/Grant Name: Home/Work: The Roles of Education, Literacy and Learning in the Social Networks and Mobility Patterns of Migrant Carers

Award/Grant Holder: Dr Sondra Cuban

Start Date: 01/01/2008
End Date: 31/03/2010

Award/Grant Description: This study is situated within the larger debate about the gendered geographies of skilled migration. The proposed mixed methods study focuses on professional migrant women and their mobility patterns and networks within the care industry, and in a new area of settlement - Cumbria. The aim of the study is to understand the roles of education, literacy, and learning in the women's integration into, and transformation of, the care sector, and their communities, with special attention to gender issues through intersectionist, mobility, and social support theories. Home / Work encompasses:

  • the intersection of professional migrant women's home and community lives with their work lives;
  • the post-welfare society and its dependency on gendered, migrant care;
  • the educational capital women bring and develop, as they migrate, and care;
  • the hidden curriculum of workplace literacies and learning;
  • the reflexive account of migrant woman researchers studying migrant women carers in the service sector.

The outcome of the study will take the form of a support model for workplace learning. Deliverables will include policy and practice briefs, research seminars, forums, papers, and articles.

Award/Grant Amount: £76,579.20

ESRC Grant Number: RES-000-22-2554

Institution: Lancaster University

Discipline: Education

Award/Grant Type: Research Grant Small

Research Questions:

  1. What are the drivers and processes, by which professional women migrate for work in the care sector? What are these women’s educational and literacy “capital” and how do these develop over time and space?
  2. What care networks do migrant carers belong to and what supports are exchanged? What resources are used by the women and how do these contribute, or not, to their sense of home and belonging? What are the carers’ involvement in the global care chain, as parents, workers, citizens?
  3. What types of literacy and language supports are needed by professional migrant women? What types of educational opportunities are available and what prevents or supports their persistence in learning? What and how do care workers learn in their workplaces, and what learning supports do they need?

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