Rethinking job satisfaction in care work: looking beyond the care debates

Source: Gail Hebson, Jill Rubery, Damian Grimshaw, Work Employment & Society, Vol. 29 no. 2, April 2015
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Studies of care workers frequently reveal relatively high levels of job satisfaction despite poor employment conditions. The rewarding nature of care work, altruistic motivations and gendered social norms have all been used to explain why subjective job satisfaction is high despite poor pay and terms and conditions. Using data collected in case-study research with domiciliary and residential care workers, this article offers a new direction for care worker research that contextualizes the taken-for-granted assumption that care workers tolerate poor pay and conditions because women find the work satisfying and intrinsically rewarding. The article draws on cultural analyses of class to offer an alternative framework that identifies the wider social processes that can shape care workers’ job satisfaction.