Care Provision By Home Care Agencies – Insights from 24H-Care in Austria for Trans- and Cross-National Research on Care and Inequality

Tuesday, 17 July 2018: 17:30
Oral Presentation
Brigitte AULENBACHER, Johannes Kepler University, Austria
Michael LEIBLFINGER, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Institute of Sociology TSS, Austria
Veronika PRIELER, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Institute of Sociology TSS, Austria
Comparative studies have shown that conservative, family-oriented welfare states have become forerunners of the marketization of domestic care. Austria is one of them pushing marketization by legalizing and professionalizing 24h-care and by cash-for-care policies in a subsidiary model of welfare. Home care agencies are new actors on the increasing care market providing 24h-care by recruiting female care workers from Eastern Europe and offering care services to Austrian private households. Drawing on the sociology of care, research about the welfare state in Austria and Eastern Europe and the Institutional Logics-perspective the paper takes three steps: The first part presents findings of our policy analysis showing how 24h-care and care provision by home care agencies are embedded in the Austrian welfare state. The second part discusses the findings of an analysis of the homepages of all (roughly one hundred) Viennese care agencies and sheds light on their recruitment of care workers and the services they offer. Our analysis focusses on the following questions: How are home care agencies addressing care workers and describing the demands and tasks of 24h-care? How are they addressing the households and which services are they offering? How are they referring to values and ideas associated with the institutional logics of the family or the profession, the market or the state, the religion or the community etc.? How the care arrangements they are providing are stratified by and reproducing differences and inequalities of gender, ethnicity, and class? How the provided care arrangements are legitimized? The third part emphasizes in how far and how the perspective on the embeddedness of care markets in the welfare state, on the institutional logics of the market, the state, the family etc. and on the legitimation of care arrangements including social differences and inequalities is instructive for trans- and cross-national approaches.