Brokering Circular Labour Migration: A Mobile Ethnography of Migrant Care Workers’ Journey to Switzerland, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Brokering Circular Labour Migration

A Mobile Ethnography of Migrant Care Workers’ Journey to Switzerland, 1st Edition

By Huey Shy Chau


224 pages | 3 B/W Illus.

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Hardback: 9780367140571
pub: 2020-03-30
SAVE ~$31.00
Available for pre-order. Item will ship after 30th March 2020

FREE Standard Shipping!


This book examines the commercialisation of domestic and care work through private agencies organising transnational care arrangements by brokering migrant workers.

The book focuses on the emergence of private for-profit home care agencies post the 2011 extension of the Free Movement of Workers to Eastern European Countries agreement in Switzerland. These agencies recruit migrant women from these countries and place them in private households for elderly care. This book explores how circular labour migration for these care workers is facilitated. In the form of a mobile ethnography, it traces their journey from Eastern European countries to Switzerland – from when the care workers find employment and get recruited by agencies, to when they arrive at their designated households. From the agencies’ analytical standpoint, the book examines the home care agencies’ recruitment and placement practices and their role in facilitating migration.

Brokering Labour Migration offers an understanding of new migration patterns and highlights fundamental changes in migration control with the extension of free movement of workers in Switzerland to lower-wage countries in Eastern Europe. It will be an invaluable resource for academics and scholars of geography, anthropology, sociology, and gender and migration.

Table of Contents

List of tables and figures; Glossary; Acknowledgements; 1. The black box of live-in care labour migration; 2. Paving the way to live-in care work; 3. The rise of home care agencies and packaged home care services; 4. How regulations matter for care agencies and care workers; 5. Finding a job in live-in care; 6. Recruiting care workers; 7. Matching with and travelling to the workplace; 8. Arriving at the household; 9. Care of care workers; 10. The middle space of migration and time for a care revolution; Bibliography; Index

About the Author

Huey Shy Chau is affiliated researcher in the Economic Geography Group at the University of Zurich, Switzerland. Her goal as migration scholar and economic geographer is to explore how place and space matters, and how they are shaped when people, knowledge, social and economic practices circulate. She is driven by the motivation to understand social processes and transformation in relation to socio-economic inequality through the lens of mobilities, migration and labour. What interests her most are the sites of struggles and negotiations around workers’ and migrants’ access to resources and social participation, freedom of movement, and the value of work.

About the Series

Routledge International Studies of Women and Place

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCIENCE / Earth Sciences / Geography