"Full of rich and absorbing material, this well-written and sensitively drawn ethnographic study provides important insights into the conflicts, contradictions, and constraints involved in the operation of nursing homes and the care work that takes place in them. A valuable and welcome addition to the literature on emotional labor, workplace organization, and long-term care."
—Nancy Foner, author of The Caregiving Dilemma: Work in an American Nursing Home
"Labors of Love is without parallel in the nursing home literature. No other ethnographer has written in such a finely detailed way about the worlds of nursing home managers. In this book, Jason Rodriquez spells out in riveting detail how nursing home managers respond to a system that incentivizes dependence and incapacity rather than independence and restorative care, how they must "put on a show" for state inspectors that does not and cannot reflect the reality of normal day-to-day operations, and how the current regulatory framework actively discourages authentic emotional relationships between caregivers and recipients. Labors of Love will change the terms of the national debate about nursing homes."
—Steven Lopez, author of Reorganizing the Rust Belt: An Inside Study of the American Labor Movement
"[Rodriquez] describes the conflicts, constraints, and competition between nursing home caregivers and administration, as well as the reality of a government bureaucracy (Medicare/Medicaid) that defines client care, encourages fraud, and creates a scenario in which cost outweighs client care...[A] well-written, interesting book."
“Labors of Love is a compelling indictment of the contemporary nursing home industry. Might morals and markets ever be aligned more humanely in the nursing home industry? Perhaps it would be easier to search for a fountain of youth.”
—American Journal of Sociology
“Labors of Love is accessible and appropriate for a range of student and scholarly audiences. Rodriquez is a reflexive ethnographer who is relatable and human in his narrative.”
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