Domestic work has become highly relevant on a local and global scale. Until a decade ago, domestic workers were rare in European households; today they can be found working for middle-class families and single people, for double or single parents as well as for the elderly. Performing the three C's - cleaning, caring and cooking - domestic workers offer their woman power on a global market which Europe has become part of. This global market is now considered the largest labour market for women world wide and it has triggered the feminization of migration. This volume brings together contributions by European and US based researchers to look at the connection between migration and domestic work on an empirical and theoretical level. The contributors elaborate on the phenomenon of 'domestic work' in late modern societies by discussing different methodological and theoretical approaches in an interdisciplinary setting. The volume also looks at the gendered aspects of domestic work; it asks why the re-introduction of domestic workers in European households has become so popular and will argue that this phenomenon is challenging gender theories. This is a timely book and will be of interest to academics and students in the fields of migration, gender and European studies.
Helma Lutz is a Professor of Women's and Gender Studies. She is at the J.W. Goethe University Frankfurt/M, Department of Social Science, Germany. Her research interests are gender, migration, ethnicity, nationalism, racism and citizenship. She has a long record of research about the intersection of gender and ethnicity in European societies and has widely published on these issues in three languages (Dutch, German, English). Her most recent book in German is: Vom Weltmarkt in den Privathaushalt. Die 'Neuen DienstmÃ¤dchen' im Zeitalter der Globalisierung. Opladen: Barbara Budrich 2007. She is the editor of the special issue of the European Journal of Women's Studies (14)3, 2007: Domestic Work. Her main publications in English are: The New Migration in Europe. Social Constructions and Social Realities (co-editor with Khalid Koser, London: MacMillan, 1998); Crossfires. Nationalism, Racism and Gender in Europe (co-editor with Ann Phoenix and Nira Yuval-Davis, London: Pluto Press,1995).
'This rich and diverse collection of studies illuminates the varieties of experiences hidden behind the single label of domestic worker, and probes the varieties of types of semi-shifting gender orders where other women are being drawn into home-based labor to facilitate middle class women’s out-of-home careers. This is a book for everyone who wants to understand gendered states, women’s labor migrations, and family change.' Myra Marx Ferree, University of Wisconsin-Madison , USA 'The increasing presence of migrant domestic workers in European homes and societies has received surprisingly little research attention. This collection is invaluable in addressing that absence. It provides illuminating overviews of global care chains and case studies of the intimate relationships produced. It is essential reading for those interested in migration movements, care work or gender regimes, but anyone wanting to understand European societies will find fascinating insights here.' Ann Phoenix, University of London, UK 'The edited book Migration and Domestic Work draws together contributing authors from a range of different European countries to produce a fascinating read for those interested in migration, gender and family life. The authors invite us into the hidden lives of migrant women, who are often part of the less visible (domestic) sections of the societies in which they work and reside. The book also offers very useful comparative material making reference to key legislation, statistical information, case studies and research findings drawn from diverse European countries...a very enjoyable and highly informative read.' Child and Family Social Work '... the European Union has recommended that member countries regularise foreign domestic workers and recognise domestic work as bona fide labour to ensure that it can be regarded as a workplace with reference to labour standards and occupational health and safety regulations, among other policy issues [...]. At t