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Just Care is Akemi Nishida’s thoughtful examination of care injustice and social justice enabled through care. The current neoliberal political economy has turned care into a business opportunity for the healthcare industrial complex and a mechanism of social oppression and control. Nishida analyzes the challenges people negotiate whether they are situated as caregivers, receivers, or both. Also illuminated is how people with disabilities come together to assemble community care collectives and bed activism (resistance and visions emerging from the space of bed) to reimagine care as a key element for social change.
The structure of care, Nishida writes, is deeply embedded in and embodies the cruel social order—based on disability, race, gender, migration status, and wealth—that determines who survives or deteriorates. Simultaneously, many marginalized communities treat care as the foundation of activism. Using interviews, focus groups, and participant observation with care workers and people with disabilities, Just Care looks into lives unfolding in the assemblage of Medicaid long-term care programs, community-based care collectives, and bed activism. Just Care identifies what care does, and asks: How can we activate care justice or just care where people feel cared affirmatively and care being used for the wellbeing of community and for just world making?
About the Author
Akemi Nishida is an Assistant Professor of Disability and Human Development and Gender and Women's Studies at the University of Illinois Chicago. She is the coeditor of Occupying Disability: Critical Approaches to Community, Justice, and Decolonizing Disability.
"Nishida offers an innovative and eloquent examination of the multiplicity of care—care as a tool of surveillance and oppression, a commodity, a relational act that builds embodied knowledge and connection, and a revolutionary act that fundamentally challenges the violent degradation of certain bodies.... Just Care is profound in its criticism of the neoliberal U.S. care industrial complex and in its commitment to envisioning just systems of care that respect crip wisdom and value all lives. It offers a deeply personal, political, and poignant contribution to care studies.... Just Care is an important work that will fundamentally reshape conversations about care in American society. It is highly relevant to scholars and activists in the fields of disability studies, care, welfare, health, justice, feminist scholarship, and critical race analysis."—Social Forces
"Nishida asks a number of urgent questions, including how our society and the regimes of governance operating in it determine whose needs are sacred and whose lives are disposable, whose needs are met and whose are ignored, and how caretaking happens (and does not happen) in our society.... Nishida’s book captures that dilemma between oppressive care assemblages and liberatory care collectives, access to care and control by the agencies of care, exploitation of care workers alongside their vital work, the capacity for self-definition and resistance in the context of a decapacitating society—the tension between and agency and constraint—in every situation she describes."—Wordgathering
"Just Care is the kind of book that you want to return to, with content that is critically important for advancing our collective thinking around care. But there’s also the book itself. Nishida utilizes each of her 264 pages and five chapters as representative of her disability justice praxis. The care put into the text models the 'just care' that the book itself discusses."—Gender and Society
"[A] nuanced analysis of the circulation of care within the U.S. neoliberal, neocolonial healthcare assemblage.... For teachers of critical qualitative research, disability or healthcare, or intersectional analyses, Just Care will be an excellent aid. For scholars and activists of various social movements for collective liberation, Just Care will nuance and oxygenate your analyses, commitments, and imagination."—Psychology of Women Quarterly
"Overall, this must-read disability justice text is transformative and ingenious. It has so much to offer the existing bodies of knowledge within healthcare, healthcare policy, disability studies, activist spaces, and conceptualizations of disability and care. Just Care positions care as a dialectical tool of social control, oppression, resistance, and liberation. Nishida’s indispensable interdisciplinary background in disability studies...and feminist studies...and her positionality as a disabled woman of color enrich her analysis of care which illustrates shared experiences of exploitation and oppression in care practice and extends visions of radically liberated futures for all."—Journal of Literary & Cultural Disability Studies