Ambivalent (In)Visibility: Commercial Cleaning Work during the Covid-19 Crisis in Austria

Publikation: Beitrag in Buch/KonferenzbandBeitrag in Sammelwerk

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In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, some jobs became publicly highlighted as ‘essential’ or ‘key’ work. In German-speaking countries, this discourse focuses on the so-called ‘system-relevant’ work (see also Grenz/Günster and Dudley in this volume). Even if the terms differ, they basically refer to jobs that are indispensable for basic human needs and the functioning of society. Among them are jobs in care and medicine, schools and teaching, and critical infrastructure such as public transport and waste disposal. Cleaning is another of these system-relevant professions. Cleaning work is necessary for the functioning of a society and its economy.

What, then, does the new attention to key work in the context of the pandemic mean for cleaning work? What does it imply for the working conditions of cleaners during the pandemic and in the future? How is the cleaning sector faring in the crisis? In this paper, I will take a closer look at these questions. The objective is to shed light on work in a sector that often remains invisible (Sardadvar 2019) and has particularly bad employment conditions (see section 2 in this paper), and to see how the pandemic has affected it.
Titel des SammelwerksCovid, Crisis, Care, and Change?
Untertitel des SammelwerksInternational Gender Perspectives on Re/Production, State and Feminist Transitions
Herausgeber*innenAntonia Kupfer, Constanze Stutz
ErscheinungsortLeverkusen Opladen
VerlagBarbara Budrich
Seiten31 - 44
ISBN (Print)978-3-8474-2541-0
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 2022

Österreichische Systematik der Wissenschaftszweige (ÖFOS)

  • 504001 Allgemeine Soziologie
  • 504011 Familienforschung
  • 504014 Gender Studies
  • 509