Thematic Panel 5: Conflicts and compromises between temporalities of care work and temporalities of employment 

Annie DUSSUET, Université de Nantes

Many studies have shown the specificities and diversity of the temporality of care activities, whatever the type of care may be concerned. The time needed for care is sometimes that of urgency and immediacy. But it is sometimes also a stretched time, without precise limits, supposing “to take one’s time”, it can then be confused with a simple presence. It is also a time of “permanent availability”, forcing the care-giver to react just in time, at the precise moment when the care-receiver needs help. Conversely, employment time has been formatted by industrialisation processes, enclosed within precise limits, appearing to be predictable and measurable. In addition, employment time’s measure is equated with remuneration. These characteristics are opposed to the temporalities of care work. When care emerges from informality and is carried out by paid workers, as employees or self- employed, the time of care work risks to become invisible and care workers to be less paid.

This thematic panel will examine the effects of the confrontation between these different temporalities. Do care temporalities determine employment conditions? How do the temporalities of employment modify care work? What compromises are made? By which actors and through which debates?

The panel will bring together papers presenting different disciplinary approaches exploring some of these questions in different national, economic, social, institutional and legal contexts and engaging different care publics : young children, disabled or elderly people… They may question, for example, the differences between institutional and individual temporalities, the way through which different actors make their own approaches to temporalities, the struggles engaged on this subject, as well as the way in which compromises are made. What are the costs of these compromises, and at the expenses of whom are they?

Posted in Conference 2021, Thematic Panels.