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(Re)constructing agents of power in the care economy sector

Comparing different approaches of the care economy movement in Germany, Austria and Switzerland

There would not be any economic action if it were not for care work to enable it. This leads to the assumption that care agents indeed have a lot of power. This changes various perspectives, firstly, the perspective on power, secondly, on where the real productive resources lie and lastly, what to look for when searching for positive images of economic agents and their power.
When we acknowledge care workers to be powerful agents of economy, it is interesting to analyze the methods different care worker organizations and care economy activists take when aiming for a degrowth and future fit economy.
The paper deconstructs and constructs the definition of power agency within the actors of the care movement in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. It compares their different approaches to influence the economic organisation of care within a wider horizon of an economic transformation. The comparison takes several agents into view. Among them are the highly successful strikes of united care agents in the Vivantes clinics called “Berliner Krankenhausbewegung” in Germany; the Swiss platform Economiefeministe which wants to implement broader knowledge on feminist economics; or the Austrian IG24 – an activist-based special-interests group which fights for better working conditions of 24 hour-live-in-care-work. Central questions are: How do they define themselves as agents of power in the field of economic activity? How do they affect their field in transformative ways to benefit care workers and not those who try to earn profit from it? How is their power connected to current political and economic decisions?


Day: 2023-08-31
Start time: 17:15
Duration: 00:15
Room: ZV-8-4
Type: Paper Presentation
Theme: Contemporary emancipatory internationalism


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