Global Care Chains in the Mediterranean: The Aging Process of Migrant Care Workers for the Elderly in Marseille and Madrid

Wednesday, 18 July 2018: 18:45
Oral Presentation
Paloma MORÉ, Aix-Marseille University, France
This paper presents the first results of an ongoing postdoctoral research focusing on the links between the care jobs for the elderly and the aging processes of the professional caregivers and their families. Through an international comparison and a qualitative methodology, this paper mobilizes the concept of "global care chains" to explore the care work for the elderly (professional and family) and its links with migration processes in the context of the aging Mediterranean region. Findings are based on a cross-national qualitative fieldwork conducted in 2017-2018 in the cities of Marseille and Madrid. A combination of qualitative methods has been applied to explore the discourses of women from two populations of immigrant origin that occupy a large part of the care jobs for the elderly in each of the two cities: women of origin Algerian in Marseille and women of Ecuadorian origin in Madrid.

The objectives of this communication are: on the one hand, to explore the material possibilities that jobs in the elderly care sector offer to Algerian and Ecuadorian women workers to deal with the care needs of the elderly parents as well as their own aging (salaries, days-off, pensions, etc.); on the other hand, to analyze the reconfiguration of the family dynamics and the gender roles through the migration processes, the experiences of employment and the "gendered responsibilities" to care for older relatives. To conclude, through these two issues (material possibilities and family dynamics) the aim is to problematize the idea of what a "good care" is, which far from being a "natural instinct", is a social concept that reconfigures its meaning in particular contexts.