Cover: Forced to Care: Coercion and Caregiving in America, from Harvard University PressCover: Forced to Care in PAPERBACK

Forced to Care

Coercion and Caregiving in America

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$31.00 • £26.95 • €28.95

ISBN 9780674064157

Publication Date: 03/05/2012


272 pages

12 halftones


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Glenn advocates for both care providers and those receiving care and uses her vast knowledge of the history and foundation of the problems to offer concrete solutions to the difficulties both face as our aging society pushes us closer to a crisis in the fastest growing segment of healthcare in America.—Kari O’Driscoll, Feminist Review

[Glenn’s] evidence is compelling and deals with a wide variety of examples that proves how coercion and caregiving have gone hand in hand. She uses evidence from the coercion of African-American women in general, slavery, Native-American women, as well as White women. She provides the reader with information on how class, race, and gender have formed the caregiving policies of twenty-first century America and how policies and laws have favored women as carers.—Elin Weiss, Metapsychology

A tour de force! Glenn presents a powerful interpretation of the social construction of care work, moving beyond the standard focus on individuals to pinpoint the ideological and material underpinnings of the care system. She reveals an evolving system that remains rooted in the coercion of women, especially immigrant women and women of color, and she offers thoughtful recommendations for a profound reorganization of care work that truly meets the needs of both those who give and those who receive care.—Mimi Abramovitz, author of Regulating the Lives of Women

A powerful and persuasive critique, Forced to Care weaves together an insightful historical narrative about caregiving. Why is care of the ill and infirm a private, family responsibility and not a public entitlement? This important and timely book should be part of the national discussion about America’s health care system.—Karen Brodkin, University of California, Los Angeles

In a strikingly original book, Glenn provides the kind of full view that will be foundational to a major advance in our thinking about caring labor. She offers an impressive account of how gender and race have intertwined in caring labor and how coercion in care work has endured despite considerable change over time. Creative, astute, and compelling, this book will appeal to a wide range of readers in health care, labor relations, and law and social welfare policy.—Marjorie DeVault, Syracuse University

In this incisive analysis, Glenn turns a brilliantly critical eye on the institutions that pit money against love. Taking the long historical view on the relationship between freedom and labor that made her prize-winning book Unequal Freedom so eye-opening, she reveals how the supposedly ‘free’ market still rests on a basis of coercive social demand rather than choice.—Myra Marx Ferree, University of Wisconsin

Scouring the history of Native American boarding schools, nineteenth-century reformatories, and programs to Americanize immigrants, Glenn brilliantly reveals the role of coercion in caregiving. An important read for us all.—Arlie Hochschild, author of The Time Bind

Awards & Accolades

  • Finalist, 2010 C. Wright Mills Award, Society for the Study of Social Problems

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