CFP: Class and the Female Caregiver in American Popular Culture (NWSA 2012: Oakland, CA, Nov. 8-11. Deadline 2/10/12)

full name / name of organization: 
Melanie Cattrell

This NWSA panel seeks presentations which address the intersection of gender and class in American popular culture representations of the caregiver. In the last decade, a variety of novels, "self-help" texts, films, and television programs have emerged to bring light on this previously invisible role. How do these texts address the economic impact of domestic eldercare, and how do they relate caregiving to gendered work?

In Learning to be Old: Gender, Culture, and Aging, Margaret Cruikshank states that at least "70-80 percent of home care for elders is provided by women (124). Cruikshank argues that such caregiving has a direct economic impact on women, as "not only is the hard work of caregiving unpaid labor, performing it actually penelizes women because it takes them away from the workforce entirely or forces them to cut back on their hours or turn down promotions" (125). Such actions have not only a short-term affect on the female caregiver, but also a long-term one, as such actions frequently impact the caregivers' own potential retirement income. (125)

Please email your <250-word abstracts no later than midnight, February 10, 2012, for full consideration as a panel member. Your proposal must include your full name, applicable institutional affiliation and title, mailing address, telephone number(s), and email address. Submit your Word document to Melanie Cattrell at