Emily Wilson, CHD

Emily Wilson’s dissertation examines the rise of a type of intergenerational volunteer care program in the United Kingdom called “homesharing.” In a homeshare, young people seeking affordable accommodations live with and provide volunteer care for elderly homeowners in exchange for reduced rent. These programs have developed across Europe in the past 20 years as nations seek out solutions to economic and demographic crises in care and rising housing costs. In England, homesharing is often promoted as a friendly and neighborly alternative to cold, bureaucratic care. This project investigates regional differences in how homeshare organizations operate across the UK, as well as the interpersonal dynamics that develop within homeshare relationships. How are dynamics of friendliness and neighborliness cultivated between strangers in the domestic sphere of the home? And how do homeshare organizations and stakeholders standardize friendly and neighborly care?  This study builds on anthropological research on social reorganization, affective labor and care work, and studies of everyday domestic life. By bridging these three bodies of literature, I seek to understand the individual and collective experiences of volunteer social care.

Emily WilsonEmily Wilson is a PhD student in Comparative Human Development researching intergenerational care and social belonging. She holds a Master’s degree in Social Work (MSW) from the University of Michigan, where she specialized in social policy, organizational management, and housing and homelessness. She has been the recipient of multiple fellowships including the Society for Psychological Anthropology (SPA) Lemelson Fellowship and the Nicholson Graduate Research Fellowship.