Taking Care of Our Own

Taking Care of Our Own

When Family Caregivers Do Medical Work

The Culture and Politics of Health Care Work

by Sherry N. Mong

Published by: Cornell University Press

204 pages, 152.00 x 229.00 mm

  • ISBN: 9781501751455
  • Published: October 2020


Mixing personal history, interviewee voices, and academic theory from the fields of care work, the sociology of work, medical sociology, and nursing, Taking Care of Our Own introduces us to the hidden world of family caregivers. By taking a multidimensional approach, Sherry N. Mong seeks to understand and analyze the types of skilled work that family caregivers do, the processes through which they learn and negotiate these new skills, and the meanings that both caregivers and nurses attach to their care work.

Taking Care of Our Own is based on sixty-two in-depth interviews with family caregivers, home and community health care nurses, and other expert observers to provide a lens through which these processes are analyzed while also exploring how caregivers learn the procedures. Mong also analyzes the emotional labor of caregiving as well as the identities of caregivers and nurses as key players in the labor process, and gives attention to the ways in which the labor is transferred from medical professionals to family caregivers.