Winter Term 2024

COMS 5218 Special Studies of Media and Communication: Communication, Care Work, and Reproductive Labour
Winter 2024

At one time or another, we all rely on the support of others. People are highly dependent upon various networks of care and labour, whether overt or invisible, paid or unpaid. Family members and friends provide care work and emotional support, and workers in childcare, nursing, and even the gig economy look after the needs of some of the most vulnerable members of our population. Yet, despite the fact that society relies on such labour to function, it is often underappreciated, precarious, and unpaid or underpaid. This course will explore theoretical approaches and applied examples of care work and reproductive labour in popular media and everyday conversations. It will critically engage with the devaluation of paid and unpaid labour centred on care work and the underlying social values of individualism, neoliberalism, patriarchy, racism, and ableism.