Messy Entanglements of Disability, Dependency, and DesireAkemi Nishida
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?”
“Just Care expertly weaves research and storytelling into a compellingly accessible text that challenges how we imagine systems of care in our world. Akemi Nishida makes the messiness of neoliberal care work plain through highlighting important aspects of the global care supply chain that too often go unexamined. While showing the mutually exploitative care partner relationships that systems like Medicaid demand, Nishida also provides possibilities for collective care rooted in interdependency and speculative dreaming. Just Care will be a touchstone for those of us who imagine another way forward in caring for each other on this planet.”—Moya Bailey, Associate Professor in the Department of Communication Studies at Northwestern University
“Nishida’s powerful examination of the ‘care industrial complex’ situates both care workers and care receivers as entangled in a system of debilitation. Drawing on both academic theory and the lived experiences of people embedded in the system, she disrupts the binary categories of care givers and receivers and illuminates the rich and complex lives of people with disabilities. Nishida also uplifts crip wisdom that was forged from care collectives, bed activism, and just existing and that expands our imagination and offers a vision of a new radical form of care. This deeply moving
account of care work is a critical intervention in prevailing debates about care, capitalism, disability, and futurity.”
—Premilla Nadasen, Professor of History at Barnard College, and author of Household Workers Unite: The Untold Story of African American Women Who Built a Movement
“Just Care provides a thick, textured, and sharply critical account of how care circulates in the transnational, neoliberal United States, illuminating the ongoing need for care practices that center people, not profits. Through a brilliant mix of critical theory, ethnographic research, and disability justice organizing, Nishida highlights how care can be both a site of oppression and a vibrant tool of cross-movement and cross-disability resistance. Just Care offers new vocabularies for feminist, queer, anti-racist, and anti-ableist solidarities. As multiple care crises continue to unfold—and unfold differentially—we need this book now.”
—Alison Kafer, author of Feminist, Queer, Crip
Dis/Color, edited by Nirmala Erevelles, Julie Avril Minich, and Cynthia Wu, highlights innovative books that reveal the intersections among racism, ableism, and other unequal structures and practices in U.S. and transnational contexts. The editors seek manuscripts grounded in disciplinary and transdisciplinary scholarship in the humanities and qualitative social sciences. Manuscripts may include those that address the lived experiences of people of color, those that broach theoretically informed claims, and those that involve empirically grounded perspectives about the regulatory and intersectional regimes of racial and ableist structures that shape human experience in the United States and globally.