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Invisible Worker(s), Invisible Hazards: An Examination of Psychological and Physical Safety Amongst Frontline Workers in Long-term Residential Care Facilities in the 'New' Global Economy

Invisible Worker(s), Invisible Hazards: An Examination of Psychological and Physical Safety Amongst Frontline Workers in Long-term Residential Care Facilities in the 'New' Global Economy

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Title: Invisible Worker(s), Invisible Hazards: An Examination of Psychological and Physical Safety Amongst Frontline Workers in Long-term Residential Care Facilities in the 'New' Global Economy
Author: Campbell, Andrea Lynn
Abstract: Research has consistently demonstrated that the long-term residential care (LTRC) frontline workforce encounters a range of serious health and safety hazards and risks that result in physical and psychological injury, illness, absenteeism, and related costs. Using the lens of feminist political economy, this dissertation explores the risks workers encounter on the frontlines of LTRC, how these workplace risks are shaped by broader social, economic, political, and historical factors, as well as the ways frontline workers resist, challenge, or shape the conditions of their work in this setting. My analysis of primary data is informed by interviews with 17 frontline workers working within for-profit, non-profit, and municipal LTRC facilities within Ontario and 2 key informants. Restructuring and reform of health and social care services under neoliberalism have profoundly transformed the character, funding, organization, and delivery of LTRC. These changes have serious implications for workforce configurations, the conditions of work and care, workplace health and safety, worker control over their labour, and capacities for worker resistance to the conditions of their work. Within the LTRC organizational hierarchy, frontline workers are of marginal status. The frontline workforce is composed predominately of women and increasingly marginalized immigrants and racialized groups, whose care labour on the frontlines is often naturalized, undervalued, and treated as unskilled and safe. This research provides evidence that restructuring and work reorganization processes, policies, and practices constitute a form of structural violence, which contribute to, intensify, and/or give rise to new sources of struggle, inequity, risk, violence, alienation, and exploitation on the everyday/everynight frontlines of LTRC.
Subject: Sociology
Keywords: Long-term residential care
Long-term care
Nursing homes
Feminist political economy
Sociology
Neoliberal
Restructuring
Austerity
Privatization
Ontario
Canada
Labour process
Work organization
Gender
Race
Workplace health and safety
Resistance
Struggle
Rule breaking
Precarious labour
Gendered work
Unpaid labour
Frontline workers
PSW
Care work
Working conditions
Workload
Regulation
Funding
Hierarchy
Division of labour
Control
Workers' compensation
Injury
Illness
Violence
Risk
Hazard
Bullying
Harassment
Stress
Underreporting
Racism
Sexism
Presenteeism
Individualization
Understaffing
Responsibilization
Exploitation
Alienation
Staffing levels
Evidence
Structural violence
Managerialism
Teamwork
Training
Ownership
Type: Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
Rights: Author owns copyright, except where explicitly noted. Please contact the author directly with licensing requests.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10315/32263
Supervisor: Armstrong, Pat
Degree: PhD - Doctor of Philosophy
Program: Sociology
Exam date: 2016-02-09
Publish on: 2016-09-20

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