SSHRC Project ‘Workers in the aging city: Eldercare labor markets in Vancouver and Shanghai’

September 28, 2016

Feng Xu (Political Science, University of Victoria) and Kendra Strauss (Labour Studies, Simon Fraser University) have been granted five-years of funding under the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (the SSHRC) Insight Grants scheme for a project entitled ‘Workers in the aging city: Eldercare labor markets in Vancouver and Shanghai’.

The project has three main goals:

1) to investigate policy on, and definitions of, paid eldercare work in two major urban labor markets with very different care regimes;

2) to examine the recent evolution of labor markets for paid eldercare workers and their particular relationship to urbanization and migration; and

3) to contribute to policy-relevant research on precarious employment, urban precarity (e.g., regarding housing and transport), and the social dimensions of urban sustainability.

It proceeds by centering workers' role in place-making: as vital agents of urbanization and active participants in urban politics and struggles over urban space, beyond state-based territorial jurisdictions.

The investigators will be recruiting two MA or PhD students (one for University of Victoria, one for Simon Fraser University) to start work on the project in the Fall of 2017. We are particularly interested in hearing from students with a background in feminist political economy and/or migration studies. Fluency in both Chinese and English are desirable for at least one of the roles. The RA positions are for 10 hours per week over three years, with the possibility of partial funding for a fourth year. Interested students will need to be enrolled in an MA or PhD program in Political Science (University of Victoria), Geography (Simon Fraser University) or Sociology and Anthropology (Simon Fraser University), and must apply through the usual route. Interested students can contact Feng Xu ( or Kendra Strauss ( in the first instance.