The COVID-19 pandemic has shone a spotlight on essential workers—not only the value of their work, but their working conditions. As Canada Research Chair in Care Economies and Global Labour, Dr. Geraldine Pratt is exploring several aspects of the revaluing and restructuring of care and other essential work in response to the pandemic.
She and her research team are working on several related projects. They are documenting the vulnerabilities of migrant workers and tracking the post-pandemic restructuring of wages and work conditions for care providers in long-term care homes. They are also examining the automation of seniors’ care, particularly dementia care, and looking at how “gerontechnologies” (technological innovations that respond to the needs of aging adults) are transforming home care. They are collaborating with migrant organizations, theatre artists and other academics to bring their research to audiences in order to generate debate about the value of essential care work, including how to strengthen and build new communities of care.