Prisoners of love? Job satisfaction in care work

Chesters, Jenny and Baxter, Janeen (2011) Prisoners of love? Job satisfaction in care work. Australian Journal of Social Issues, 46 1: 49-67.

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Author Chesters, Jenny
Baxter, Janeen
Title Prisoners of love? Job satisfaction in care work
Journal name Australian Journal of Social Issues   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0157-6321
Publication date 2011-09-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
Volume 46
Issue 1
Start page 49
End page 67
Total pages 19
Place of publication Strawberry Hills, NSW, Australia
Publisher Australian Council of Social Service
Language eng
Abstract Previous research has established that paid care work is typically undertaken by women and that this work is often poorly rewarded in terms of pay and promotion opportunities. Much less is known about the reasons why women enter these jobs or their experiences of this work. This paper examines the motivations and experiences of two groups of care workers: childcare workers and dental assistants in Queensland in 2009 (N=1,767). We examine intrinsic, extrinsic and overall job satisfaction and the effects of job characteristics, work experience and demographic characteristics on job satisfaction. We find that childcare workers are less satisfied with their jobs than dental assistants on all three measures, despite a greater proportion nominating intrinsic reasons for entering the occupation. The most important factors predicting job satisfaction for both groups are day-to-day work experiences such as control over weekly rosters and entitlements that enable work-family balance. We conclude that although love of the job may be a strong drawcard into care occupations for some women, experiences may not live up to expectations. Moreover, there is considerable diversity across these groups in motivations and outcomes indicating that it is impossible to view all care occupations as similar in terms rewards, outcomes and experiences.
Keyword Job satisfaction
Care work
Work experience
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2012 Collection
School of Social Science Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 3 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Tue, 06 Sep 2011, 01:43:26 EST by Debbie Lim on behalf of School of Social Science