“No Place Like Home? combines the rigorous scholarship of an academic feminist philosopher with the 'close to the ground' insights that come from bathing, feeding, and caring for older people as a home care aide. This book develops recent work in feminist philosophy that attends to both care and justice to propose a way to reform home care to reduce its exploitative qualities while assuring that it is more than 'bed and body' work.” —Martha B. Holstein, Visiting Scholar, Center for Research on Women and Gender at the University of Illinois, Chicago and co-editor, Ethics and Community Based Elder Care
“For a scathing critique of how American society abuses both those who receive home-based care as well as those who provide it, and a sophisticated vision of how we might move toward a more just future, there's no book like No Place Like Home?.” —James Lindemann Nelson, co-author of Alzheimer's: Answers to Hard Questions for Families
“[Jennifer Parks's] critique of current practices and institutions is thorough and accurate, benefiting both from her own experience as a homecare worker and the philosophically sophisticated tools she brings to bear on it.” —Laura Purdy, Professor of Philosophy, Wells College
In this provocative new book, Jennifer A. Parks analyzes practices in the home health care industry and concludes that they are highly exploitative of both workers and patients. Under the existing system, underpaid workers are expected to perform tasks for which they are inadequately trained, in unreasonably short periods of time. This situation, Parks argues, harms workers and puts home health care patients at risk. To the extent that the majority of patients and workers in home health care are women, she turns to feminist ethics for an alternative approach. Through an understanding of individuals as social beings with obligations to others, and of home health care as a public good, Parks explains how to develop the social benefits of good home health care and increase the role of government in providing financial support and regulatory oversight.