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Fictitious Kinship

Intimacy, Relatedness and Boundaries in the Life of Hanoi's Migrant Domestic Workers

Minh T. N. Nguyen

This article argues that migrant domestic workers in Hanoi practise a form of fictitious kinship to carve out personal spaces away from their rural home. Biographical narratives of domestic workers who are unusually devoted to forging emotional ties with their employers indicate that they tend to have problematic private lives. Beyond emotional labour, the performance of fictitious kinship entails significant personal investment on the part of women, at times generating mutual feelings and relationships between them and certain members of the employers' household. These relationships are crucial to their personal transformations, helping them construct new identities and opening up possibilities for challenging the power hierarchy in their home. Yet such constructed kinship is treacherous and uncertain, not just because of its foundation is their commodified labour, subject to the rules of the market, but also due to the dangers of intimate encounters in the private sphere.

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Lotta Björklund Larsen

Hiring home cleaning is a contested phenomenon in Sweden and increasingly so when informally recompensed. During the last decade, pigdebatten (the maid debate), a proposal for subsidized, paid home cleaning has divided the public debate along political lines as well as in terms of gender and class. Drawing on the historical notions of what type of work an economy includes (and excludes), this article addresses the contestation of paid home cleaning as a transaction of work. How do buyers negotiate and justify svart (black market) cleaning as an acceptable transaction in time and space when separating the public from the private? This case study is based on interviews with a group of women indicted for having bought cleaning services from an immigrant without a working permit, a case that created a heated media debate in 2003 and 2004.

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Pauline Gardiner Barber

This article addresses the politics of class, culture, and complicity associated with Philippine gendered-labor export. Several examples drawn from multisited ethnographic research explore two faces of class: migrant performances of subordination contrasted with militancy in the labor diaspora. With few exceptions, the literature on Philippine women in domestic service has emphasized disciplined subjectivities, the everyday dialectics of subordination. But class is also represented in these same relationships, understandings, and actions. Alternatively, the political expressions of Philippine overseas workers, and their supporters, is a feature of Philippine migration that is not often mentioned in writing concerned with migrant inequalities. This article proposes a reconciliation of these two faces of class expression by exploring how new media, primarily cell-phone technologies, enhance possibilities for organized and personal resistance by Filipino migrants, even as they facilitate migrant acquiescence, linked here to gendered subordination and class complicity, in the contentious reproduction of the migrant labor force.

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Bonnie White

interwar period, with the most significant increases in distributive trades, commerce and finance, personal service, and food and drink industries, with significant declines experienced in the textile and clothing industries and domestic service. 5

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Annabel Erulkar and Girmay Medhin

segmented by age—7 to 11 and 12 to 18. Biruh Tesfa groups meet in the afternoon for two hours, five days per week. Meeting times coincide with the availability of classrooms as well as the time when girls in domestic service are free to attend. Once in the

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Diplomat, Landlord, Con-artist, Thief

Housing Brokers and the Mediation of Risk in Migrant Moscow

Madeleine Reeves

now become a ubiquitous presence in a variety of labour-market sectors, including construction, catering, commercial cleaning and domestic service, in rural Kyrgyzstan we can see the emergence of what Kalir has called, drawing on Bourdieu, a ‘migratory

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Stanley Chojnacki

, Housecraft and Statecraft: Domestic Service in Renaissance Venice, 1400–1600 (Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996), 88. For 50-ducat allocations to widows: Nicolò Loredan, ASVe, Notarile, Testamenti (hereafter, NT) b. 14, Artengo, no. 4 (27

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Educating the Other

Foreign Governesses in Wallachia in the First Half of the Nineteenth Century

Nicoleta Roman

perspective historique, XVIIe-XXe siècles’’ [The globalisation of domestic service in a historical perspective, seventeenth to twentieth century], in Manuela Martini and Philippe Rygiel, eds., Genre et travail migrant: Mondes atlantiques, XIXe–XXe siècles

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Dhan Zunino Singh

the 1930s was about 30 percent; urban women worked as teachers, nurses, domestic service, clerks (mainly in fashion or department stores), seamstresses, telephone operators, and typists, using skills that were identified as naturally female. 28

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Tobias Schulze-Cleven

largely through lower input prices for labor-intensive domestic services. 47 Yet, given that tradable manufacturing makes up about 80 percent of German exports, the sector’s improved competitiveness has been most consequential for the overall economy