275.3 Embedded regulation and social inequalities: The blurry frontier between domestic employment and professional care. Brazil in a comparative perspective

Thursday, August 2, 2012: 11:31 AM
Faculty of Economics, TBA
Oral Presentation
Nadya GUIMARAES , Sociology, University of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo - SP, Brazil
Helena HIRATA , Laboratoire GTM/CRESPPA, CNRS, Paris , France
Recent literature has been stressing that modes of care provision depend upon characteristics of welfare and gender regimes. Actors’ roles and their patterns of relationship, both on providing and financing care activities, differ hence from country to country as they reflect the way labor market and social protection are organized and gendered. In this paper we will join and amplify that perspective introducing a new dimension: professional identities and social recognition among careworkers. Firstly the paper explores the frontier between domestic employees and professional care workers profiles underlying its blurry nature in the Brazilian case, in a comparative perspective based on secondary data for Brazil, France and Japan. Secondly, it analyzes the way 2811 workers (whose activities would be technically described as professional care work) describe the job they performed and auto identify professionally; this analysis relies upon empirical data collected for Sao Paulo Metropolitan region as part of a monthly household “Survey on Employment and Unemployment” (PED).  Thirdly, it explores interpretations collected through in-depth interviews with care workers in their union at Sao Paulo. We draw upon the conclusion that, even though there is a growing regulatory and protective effort from the Brazilian State, the embeddedness of those regulations on a social environment characterized by its profound - and gendered  -inequalities avoids the consolidation of professional identities and the emergence of collective interests and mobilization.