Portraits of Womenâ€™s Paid Domestic-Care Labour
Thomas Chambers and
Journal of South Asian Development, 2018, vol. 13, issue 2, 123-140
Our introduction to this Special Issue draws out themes from all four articles which focus on Indiaâ€™s domestic-care economy: womenâ€™s paid domestic labour, care work and surrogacy. Through fine-grained ethnographic detail, all the articles nuance questions around agency and resistance, and actively challenge the â€˜passive victimâ€™ stereotype that continues to be the primary imaginary in many representations of domestic-care workers. We describe how the articles detail the intimacy, emotional labour and complex spatial dynamics inherent within a sector that often involves working in the homes of others, caring for children, and complex relationships with employers. Additionally, we show how care workers encounter quotidian forms of bodily control, distancing, segregation, authority, stigma, coercion, punitive sanctions and exploitation embedded in the intersections of class, race, caste, gender and ethnicity. To provide a wider framing for the articles, we utilize this introduction to situate them within broader historical and geographical contexts. Thus, we consider how global care chains (GCCs), labour markets, migration, and colonial/postcolonial considerations interplay in shaping the everyday lives of domestic-care workers in contemporary globalizing India.
Keywords: India; domestic-care labour; surrogacy; class; women (search for similar items in EconPapers)
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:sae:soudev:v:13:y:2018:i:2:p:123-140
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