Towards a Global History of Domestic and Caregiving Workers


Domestic and caregiving work has been at the core of human existence throughout history. Poorly paid or even unpaid, this work has been assigned to women in most societes and occasionally to men often as enslaved, indentures, "adopted" workers. While some use domestic service as training for their own future independent households, others are confined to it for life and try to avoid damage to their identities (Part One). Employment conditions are even worse in colonizer-colonized dichotomies, in which the subalternized have to run the households of administrators who believe they are running an empire (Part Two). Societies and states set the discriminatory rules, those employed develop strategies of resistance or self-protection (Part Three). A team of international scholars addresses these issues globally with a deep historical background.

Contributors are: Ally Shireen, Eileen Boris, Dana Cooper, Jennifer Fish, David R. Goodman, Mary Gene De Guzman, Jaira Harrington, Victoria Haskins, Dirk Hoerder, Elizabeth Hordge-Freeman, Majda Hrženjak, Elizabeth Hutchison, Dimitris Kalantzopoulos, Bela Kashyap, Marta Kindler, Anna Kordasiewicz, Ms Lokesh, Sabrina Marchetti, Robyn Pariser, Jessica Richter, Magaly Rodríguez García, Raffaella Sarti, Adéla Souralová, Yukari Takai, and Andrew Urban.

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Dirk Hoerder is professor emeritus of global history. He has taught in Germany, France, Canada and the United States. His main interests are global migration and human agency in translocal, transregional and transstate settings using a transcultural approach.

Elise van Nederveen Meerkerk is associate professor in labor and economic history at Wageningen University. Her publications include articles in the Economic History Review and Feminist Economics. She has co-edited volumes on the global history of textile workers and child labor.

Silke Neunsinger is associate professor in economic history and director of research at the Labour Movement Archives and Library in Stockholm. Her research has been concerned with feminist labor history and the history of social movements. She is currently working on the global history of equal pay.
Acknowledgements ... ix
Illustrations and Figures ... x
List of Contributors ... xi

1 Domestic Workers of the World: Histories of Domestic Work as Global Labor History ... 1
Elise van Nederveen Meerkerk, Silke Neunsinger and Dirk Hoerder

2 Historians, Social Scientists, Servants and Domestic Workers: Fifty Years of Research on Domestic and Care Work ... 25
Raffaella Sarti

3 Historical Perspectives on Domestic and Care-Giving Workers’ Migrations: A Global Approach ... 61
Dirk Hoerder

Combining Work and Emotions: Strategies, Agency, Self-Assertion

4 Introduction: Combining Work and Emotions: Strategies, Agency, Self-assertion ... 113
Dirk Hoerder

5 Slovenian Domestic Workers in Italy: A Borderlands Care Chain over Time ... 120
Majda Hrženjak

6 Ties that Bind: Localizing the Occupational Motivations that Drive Non-Union Affiliated Domestic Workers in Salvador, Brazil ... 137
Elizabeth Hordge-Freeman and Jaira J. Harrington

7 Maid-of-all-Work or Professional Nanny? The Changing Character of Domestic Work in Polish Households, Eighteenth Century to the Present 158
Marta Kindler and Anna Kordasiewicz

8 Mutual Emotional Relations in Caregiving Work at the Turn of the Twenty-First Century: Vietnamese Families and Czech Nannies-Grandmothers ... 182
Adéla Souralová

9 Making the Personal Political: The First Domestic Workers’ Strike in Pune, Maharashtra ... 202

10 Ambivalence of Return Home: Revaluating Transnational Trajectories of Filipina Live-In Domestic Workers and Caregivers in Toronto from
1970 to 2010 ... 222
Yukari Takai with Mary Gene De Guzman

Domestic Work in the Colonial Context: Race, Color, and Power in the Household

11 Introduction: Domestic Work in the Colonial Context: Race, Color, and Power in the Household ... 245
Elise van Nederveen Meerkerk

12 Slavery, Servility, Service: The Cape of Good Hope, the Natal Colony, and the Witwatersrand, 1652–1914 ... 254
Shireen Ally

13 The Servant Problem: African Servants the Making of European Domesticity in Colonial Tanganyika ... 271
Robyn Allyce Pariser

14 Imperial Divisions of Labor: Chinese Servants and Racial Reproduction in the White Settler Societies of California and the Anglophone Pacific, 1870–1907 ... 296
Andrew Urban

15 “The Matter of Wages Does not Seem to be Material”: Native American Domestic Workers’ Wages under the Outing System in the United
States, 1880s–1930s ... 323
Victoria K. Haskins

16 Who’s in Charge, The Government, the Mistress, or the Maid? Tracing the History of Domestic Workers in Southeast Asia ... 346
Bela Kashyap

17 Migrant Domestic Work through the Lens of “Coloniality”: Narratives from Eritrean Afro-Surinamese Women ... 366
Sabrina Marchetti

From Servitude to Domestic Service: The Role of International Bodies, States and Elites for the Changing Conditions in Domestic Work between the 19th and 20th Century

18 From Servitude to Domestic Service: The Role of International Bodies, States and Elites for Changing
Conditions in Domestic Work Between the 19th and 20th Centuries. An Introduction ... 389
Silke Neunsinger

19 Reconfiguring Household Slavery in Twentieth Century Fes, Morocco ... 400
R. David Goodman

20 Child Slavery, Sex Trafficking or Domestic Work? The League of Nations and Its Analysis of the Mui Tsai System ... 428
Magaly Rodríguez García

21 Domestic work in Cyprus, 1925–1955: Motivations, Working Conditions and the Colonial Legal Framework ... 451
Dimitris Kalantzopoulos

22 Employing Migrant Domestic Workers in Urban Yemen: A New Form of Social Distinction ... 465
Marina de Regt

23 What is “Domestic Service” Anyway? Producing Household Labourers in Austria (1918–1938) ... 484
Jessica Richter

24 “The Problem of Domestic Service in Chile, 1924–1952” ... 511
Elizabeth Quay Hutchison

25 Decent Work for Domestics: Feminist Organizing, Worker Empowerment, and the ILO ... 530
Eileen Boris and Jennifer N. Fish

Index ... 553
All interested in history, women studies, gender studies, labor studies, economics, sociology, anthropology; at universities and possibly at international labor institutions.
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