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Migration, Independence and Care: Comparing Life Stories of Migrant Care Workers in the United Kingdom and Norway

By: Published: 2017 | Product: SAGE Research Methods Cases Part 2
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Previous studies into migration and care have largely had a focus on female migrants, domestic work in personal households, and the global North–South issue of how the richer part of the world relies on those from poorer countries. This study, financed by the Norwegian Meltzer Research Fund, challenges the previous studies by focusing on both female and male workers, on publicly organised care work, and avoids the victim’s perspective by looking at migrant care workers as active agents shaping their lives within the options and limitations they are given at any time. Using life story interviews, the study investigates the working and everyday lives of migrant care workers in the United Kingdom and Norway. It has a particular focus on working experiences related to the increasingly important long-term care cash-for-care scheme by which disabled and older people are given cash to employ their own workers, aiming at independence; this being also the general aim of the migrant care workers’ life projects. The study analyses life trajectories, downwards social mobility to care work, gendered care worker profiles and ways of negotiating cultural differences. The collection of life stories gives the study a rich and meaningful way of comparing working lives in context.

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