Skip to content

Seminar: ‘Intimate Transactions in Carework: Precarity, Purpose and Pleasure’

Text: Seminar Series Intimate Transactions in Carework: Precarity, Purpose and Pleasure Dr Sayendri Panchadhyayi National Law School of India University Tuesday 6th February 2024 12:30- 14:00 GMT

We virtually welcomed Dr Sayendri Panchadhyayi, visiting faculty at National Law School of India University, to present ‘Intimate Transactions in Carework: Precarity, Purpose and Pleasure’.

Date: Tuesday 6th February 2024

About the seminar

The intersecting trends of global demographic transition, accelerated ageing of the oldest old, and shifts in living arrangements peg questions on developing homecare models that resonate the short-term and long-term challenges for older adults ageing in home. The processes of ageing are determined by the cumulative episodes across the lifecourse of the person, health condition and degree of dependency, availability and capability of caregivers, social capital that turns to care credit at the interface of crisis, state interventions on geriatric care, and intergenerational relations. An emerging response to tackle the old-age care crisis in the Indian cities has been to rely on the carework of ayahs, semi-trained to untrained women entering the paid care workforce motivated by dignity, seva or service for people, and accruing better wage. The peripheral position of these ayahs, exacerbated by the confluence of caste, class, gender, labour and knowledge in the medical care hierarchy exposes them to the entanglements of care. Losing job and struggling with house rent, verbal abuse and intransigent behaviour from patients, dealing with the recalcitrant materials of human body, working without medical supplies like gloves, masks and headgear while cleaning, moral predicament of intimate labour and emotional toll in dealing with end-of-life care patients plague these ayahs. The intimate labour intrinsic to old-age care prompts them to keep silent or censor their experiences with their families. The thrust of this paper is to discuss the realities of paid home carework for an ageing population in urban India and the strategies adopted by the careworkers to make sense of their labour.

About the presenter

Dr Sayendri Panchadhyayi

Dr. Sayendri Panchadhyayi is an interdisciplinary sociologist with interests in cultural gerontology, medical anthropology, sociology of care and lifecourse, death and bereavement, and policy research. She is currently a visiting faculty at the National Law School of India University (NLSIU), Bangalore, India offering an elective course on ‘Ageing, Lifecourse and Death Studies’. Post-Phd she has been a Research Fellow at the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Calcutta, India and worked on a project titled ‘Healthcare Inequalities in India: Mapping actors, logics and care practices’. In the recent past she has delivered public talks organized by Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling and the Montreal History Group in 24th November 2023, Manipal Centre for Humanities, Manipal Academy of Higher education (MAHE) in February 2024, and the Global South Hub, Centre for Social Science Research, George Mason University, in March 2024. Her current talk is based on an excerpt from her doctoral thesis that was awarded the best student paper at the Second Global South Students’ 2023 Conference organized by CSSR, George Mason University.

Please click here to reserve your place on a Google form.

Centre for Care Seminar Series

In this seminar series we invite colleagues, partners and experts, whose work aligns with the mission of our Centre, to share their work with us and our audiences, to deepen our understanding of the critical issues in social care in the UK and around the world.

Click here to view more upcoming events and past event recordings.

More updates