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Family Matters: Migrant Domestic and Care Work and the Issue of Recognition

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Paradoxes of Integration: Female Migrants in Europe

Part of the book series: International Perspectives on Migration ((IPMI,volume 4))

Abstract

Over the past decade, studies on the issue of migrant domestic and care workers have proliferated: some have shown the regulative, institutional mechanisms, affecting this group of migrants, and others have concentrated on micro, subjective experiences of the migrants themselves. Rather than treating them in isolation from one another, this chapter aims to explore the interaction of these two levels, exploring different facets of social recognition attainment among migrant domestic and care workers in 11 European countries. The authors propose a concept of recognition, which attends to social relations in attaining recognition, whilst simultaneously incorporating a structural dimension such as policies/regulations, gendered, class, ethnic and racialized domination and stereotypes. The focus is on the family as the main locus in which this interaction is articulated. In particular, the analysis shows how tenaciously, and yet differently, the trope of the family permeates both policy and migrant women’s narratives in diverse European countries, cutting across different migration and care regimes, as well as across North-South, West-East regional differences. The authors explore the linkages between familialism (expressed in care policies) and migration regulations that generate the institutional facets of social recognition. They highlight migrant domestic workers’ and carers’ experience in their work and life and the ways in which this is linked to institutions generating or hindering social recognition.

We would like to thank Mirjana Morokvasic-Müller and Agnieszka Satola for their contribution in one of the previous versions.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    1  Given the marked shift of its expanding childcare policy since 2007, Germany is making a slight move away from ‘explicit’ towards ‘optional familialism’. Because a major portion of our empirical research had already been concluded before any sound assessment of the impact of the new childcare policy was possible, this chapter discusses Germany as a country of explicit familialism.

  2. 2.

    2  Several ongoing research projects (“image-e” project http://www.soc.hit-u.ac.jp/∼trans_soci/english2.html; http://www.uni-hildesheim.de/index.php?id=7692) analyze this phenomenon.

  3. 3.

    3  http://www.kalayaan.org.uk/documents/domestic%20worker%20visa%20brief%20July%202011.pdf.

  4. 4.

    4  On prostitution, see Chap.9.

  5. 5.

    5  For the US context on Chicana domestic workers, see Romero (1992).

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Catarino, C., Kontos, M., Shinozaki, K. (2013). Family Matters: Migrant Domestic and Care Work and the Issue of Recognition. In: Anthias, F., Kontos, M., Morokvasic-Müller, M. (eds) Paradoxes of Integration: Female Migrants in Europe. International Perspectives on Migration, vol 4. Springer, Dordrecht. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-4842-2_8

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