Jennifer Steiner

Jennifer Steiner

PhD student

Economic Geography

Tel.: 044 63 55254

Room number: Y25 L 50

As a member of the research group “geographies of labour and migration”, I started my PhD in the Department of Geography in 2017. Working on transnational home care arrangements, I take a particular interest in questions of socio-spatial inequalities in globalized labour markets and in people’s struggles for labour rights and social participation.

In my PhD-project, I am focusing on the sites of negotiation and contestation in transnational live-in care arrangements. In Switzerland, live-in elderly care is becoming an increasingly common way to fill care gaps; it appears as a ready solution at a time when demographic change poses new challenges and former care arrangements between the generations and between genders are eroding. Tying in with this development, I am interested in the recruitment of (mostly female) Eastern European care workers who are employed as so-called live-ins in private households. I try to shed light on the growing number of transnational home care arrangements in order to understand how these are being negotiated between home care agencies, care workers, care receivers, and their families. Asking how expectations of decent care and decent work are justified, legitimised or contested, I take a particular interest in the care workers’ role in these negotiation processes. Therefore, I ask for circumstances, challenges, and possibilities of emergent forms of mobilisation and (self-)organisation, which are politicising commodified care work and pressuring for change.


This PhD-project is part of the D-A-CH-project “Decent Care Work? Transnational Home Care Arrangements”, a cooperation of Aranka Benazha, Helma Lutz, Iga Obrocka and Ewa Palenga-Möllenbeck from Goethe University Frankfurt/Germany, Brigitte Aulenbacher, Michael Leiblfinger, and Veronika Prieler from Johannes Kepler University Linz/Austria and Karin Schwiter, Jennifer Steiner and Anahi Villalba from the University of Zurich/Switzerland; funded by the German Science Community (DFG) project no. LU 630/14-1, by the Austrian Science Fund (FWF) project no. I 3145 G-29, and by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF) project no. 170353.


Since 2017 // University of Zurich // PhD candidate in Economic Geography

2015 // University of Zurich // MSc in Political Geography


02/2019 // Care-Migration-Gender. Ambivalent Interdependencies. // "Gute Sorge ohne gute Arbeit?" Fishbowl-Diskussion mit dem "Decent Care Work"-Projektteam

09/2018 // UNIA Frauenkonferenz // Neuchâtel // "Care Arbeit - Internationale Zusammenhänge"

07/2018 // Global Conference on Economic Geography // Cologne // "Labour, migration, and brokers" // Session co-chaired with Huey Shy Chau

05/2018 // kritnet16 // Göttingen // "Die Autonome Schule Zürich als gelebte urban citizenship. Alltägliche Kämpfe um Rechte und Teilhabe"

01/2018 // Neue Kulturgeographie // Freiburg im Breisgau // “Gute Sorgearbeit? Transnationale Home Care Arrangements. Charakter und Kontextbedingungen der live-in SeniorInnenbetreuung in der Schweiz“