First Advisor

Amy Lubitow

Term of Graduation

Fall 2023

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Sociology






Black women, Direct care work, Economic exploitation, Historic and modern oppression, Long term care, Racism and discrimination



Physical Description

1 online resource (viii, 150 pages)


This study expands understanding about the experiences of Black women direct care workers (DCWs) experiences with racism, discrimination, and economic exploitation in the long-term care (LTC) sector. It comes at a critical time when COVID-19 has demonstrated the important and essential nature of long-term care work. COVID-19 has also elucidated the challenges of an insufficient workforce and its detrimental impact on the long-term care system’s ability to meet the care needs of those accessing long-term care services. Finally, workforce needs are projected to increase with the impending influx of baby boomers into retirement, making this study a timely effort at understanding the unique needs of these workers so actions can be taken to preserve and grow the workforce. This study finds that Black women experience racism and discrimination across interpersonal and institutional levels. On the structural level, they also experience wage theft. Their experiences are mediated by a host of individual, institutional, social, and structural factors and are contemporary examples of historic oppression. This study underscores important values for Black women who enter and remain in this work. Future efforts at attracting and retaining a sufficient workforce supply should factor these values into the strategies employed.


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