Migration, Domestic Work and Affect: A Decolonial Approach on Value and the Feminization of Labor, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Migration, Domestic Work and Affect

A Decolonial Approach on Value and the Feminization of Labor, 1st Edition

By Encarnación Gutiérrez-Rodríguez


220 pages

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Domestic and care work in private households is now the largest employment sector for migrant women. This book sheds light on these households through its focus on the interpersonal relationships between Latin American “undocumented migrant” domestic workers and employers in Austria, Germany, Spain and the UK. The personal experiences of these women form the basis for Gutiérrez-Rodríguez’s decolonial analysis of the feminization of labor in private households and cultural analysis of domestic work as affective labor. This book will be a necessary voice in the debates on citizenship, cosmopolitanism, and migrant workers’ rights.


"This book draws on rich empirical studies of domestic workers and their employers in four European countries to make a convincing argument that domestic work is affective labour that is both structured by and transcends the logic of rights. It introduces the reader to migrants and their employers to reveal the emotional and relational complexity within private households. Its insights and decolonial perspective shed new light on the struggles of migrant domestic workers, and what is at stake for both workers and employers."

- Dr. Bridget Anderson, Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS), University of Oxford

"Using her own positioning as a child of guest workers as a starting point, Gutierrez-Rodriguez explores the precarious work lives and struggles for rights and respect of Latin American women employed as domestic workers in Europe. Her theorization of affective relations between housewives and domestic workers and the continuing coloniality of power within transculturation and translation processes make this book a pathbreaking contribution to migration research, and feminist studies."

- Nina Glick Schiller, Director Research Institute for Cosmopolitan Culture and Professor of Anthropology, University of Manchester

Table of Contents

Introduction: Sensing Domestic Work 1. Decolonizing Migration Studies: On Transcultural Translation 2. Coloniality of Labor: Migration Regimes and the Latin American Diaspora in Europe 3. Governing the Household: On the Underside of Governmentality 4. Biopolitics and Value: Complicating the Feminization of Labor 5. Symbolic Power and Difference: Racializing Inequality 6. Affective Value: Ontologies of Exploitation 7. Decolonial Ethics and the Politics of Affects: Talking Rights

About the Author

Encarnación Gutiérrez-Rodríguez is Senior Lecturer in Transcultural Studies at the University of Manchester, UK.

About the Series

Routledge Research in Gender and Society

The social sciences continue to be transformed and enriched by analysis which takes gender, and the ways in which gender and society interact, to be of vital, defining importance. This series is new and broadly based, and will publish high-level contributions from across the disciplines.

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Sociology / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Women's Studies
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Social Classes