Tschudi memorial lecture: "Who will look after me when I am old? Gender, migration and social infrastructures of labour in the ‘ageing’ city"
Kendra Strauss from Simon Fraser University will give this year's Tschudi memorial lecture at the Department of Sociology and Human Geography.
Kendra Strauss is a feminist political economist and labour geographer. She is Director of the Labour Studies Program at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada, and an Associate Member in the Department of Geography. Her research focuses on precarious work, unfree labour, migration, social reproduction and pension politics.
About the lecture
‘Global’ cities are increasingly also ageing cities. As such, they depend on social infrastructures for the provision of care to growing older populations. Social infrastructures are often conceptualized, implicitly or explicitly, as the material sites or social practices of care: nursing homes, recreation centers, home support services, caregivers’ networks. The labour that enables and sustains social infrastructures is often invisible as labour, both paid and unpaid. In this talk, Kendra Strauss theorize the paid work of eldercare in two aspiring global cities, Vancouver (Canada) and Shanghai (China), as a social infrastructure of labour. Paid eldercare labour in both cities is highly gendered and dependent on migration flows – international immigration in Vancouver, internal migration in China. It is also increasingly subject to financialization. This framework provides a lens for focusing on struggles over value, and against the devaluation of racialized and classed women’s labour, that is essential but often invisible in global cities.