Dismissed as “women’s work”—that is, not “really” work—taking care of children, attending to housework, and/or caring for the sick and elderly is both socially and economically invisible labor. It carries little prestige and, for those who do it for a living, very little pay. Yet, as pandemic life and the shrinking economy remind us, it is crucial, demanding labor. Without it, our economy does not function at the household nor at the national level.
Author: Susanna Rosenbaum
Susanna Rosenbaum is an Associate Professor of Anthropology at the City College of New York, and the author of Domestic Economies: Women, Work, and The American Dream in Los Angeles (Duke Press, 2017).