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2023: Making Ends Meet: Women's Work, the Care Sector and Regional Informal Economies: Detroit

Co-Learning Plan - 2023

Authors: Dr. Louise Jezierski, Dr. Das Gupta, Dr. Linda Sayed


This Co-Learning Plan examines how women workers and employers navigate the informal care and personal service sectors of the Detroit metropolitan region, focusing on immigrant and adjacent neighborhoods. The 2020 COVID-19 pandemic-based economic crisis has impacted women with layoffs in service sector jobs or leaving to meet family care needs. Women engage the labor market informally through social networks and “brokerage institutions” including neighborhood institutions, e.g. temples, churches, and schools, to find work and household services. The research design employs mixed methodologies - archival data analysis and in-depth interviews - to map connective networks between formal and informal work that sustains a circular economy in greater Detroit.

Author Information

Louise Jezierski

Dr. Louise A. Jezierski is an Associate Professor of Social Relations at James Madison College, Michigan State University.  Her research includes revitalization of declining cities, especially the cities of Detroit, Pittsburgh, and Cleveland, local and regional economic and community development, race relations and social inequality. Some recent projects include community building in Lansing, MI, “Race/Socioeconomic Area Characteristics & Cancer – Detroit” funded by the National Cancer Institute, The Effect of State Legislation on Sub-Prime Lending, Michigan’s Latino Communities, and funding from US Department of Housing and Urban Development and the National Hispanic Housing Council for a study on Hispanic housing access in El Paso Texas. She received her BA at Boston University in Sociology and Geography and her MA and PhD in Sociology at the University of California, Berkeley. 

Dr. Sejuti Das Gupta

Dr. Sejuti Das Gupta completed her doctoral studies from School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. She received the Felix scholarship to conduct her doctoral research. Her book has been published by Cambridge University Press in 2019, Class, Politics, and Agrarian Policies in Post-liberalisation India. Her areas of interest are capitalism, colonialism, agrarian political economy, public policy, class-caste and state-society interactions. Trained in Political Science, she shifted to Development studies to do interdisciplinary research. Her core interest is to contribute towards combining theory and practice for a better understanding in social science. Right after PhD, she joined Tata Institute of Social Sciences, India, as an Assistant Professor She has worked in the development sector in India. She completed her Masters and M. Phil from Jawaharlal Nehru University.

Dr. Linda Sayed

Professor Sayed is an assistant professor of Comparative Cultures and Politics at James Madison College (JMC). She is a core faculty member of the Muslim Studies Program, and affiliate faculty of the Center of Gender in Global Context, and the Global Studies Program. Prior to arriving to JMC, Professor Sayed was at New York University, where she taught courses on Islam, gender, nationalism, colonialism, and Middle East history and politics. She holds a master’s degree in Middle East and Asian Languages and Cultures from Columbia University, and a Ph.D. in Middle Eastern, South Asian and African Studies from Columbia University.

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