• 264 pages
  • 6 x 9
  • Price: $34.95
  • EAN: 9781439919903
  • Publication: Jul 2022
  • Price: $110.50
  • EAN: 9781439919897
  • Publication: Jul 2022
  • Price: $34.95
  • EAN: 9781439919910
  • Publication: Jul 2022

Just Care

Messy Entanglements of Disability, Dependency, and Desire

Akemi 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

"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."

"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

About the Author(s)

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.

In the Series


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.

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