The Social Context of Outsourced Domestic Cleaning

Lotika Singha

The Social Context of Outsourced Domestic Cleaning

Lotika Singha

Distributed for Bristol University Press

216 pages | 6 1/4 x 9 1/4
Cloth $115.00 ISBN: 9781447346913 Will Publish January 2019 For sale in North and South America only

Although outsourcing of domestic work in the United Kingdom has been steadily increasing since the 1970s, most research on the subject has tended to focus on the experiences of Indian domestic workers, with very little research thus far on the white British women who work as cleaners today. This book aims to expand the portrait, arguing that in the modern urban context, outsourced domestic cleaning can be done either as work (which requires mental as well as manual skills and exertion) or as labor (which requires mainly manual labour, accompanied by exertion of natural’ emotional and affective labor), depending on the working conditions. It is based on new research that includes the experiences of two indigenous groups of domestic workers (white British women and Indian women) in comparison with most recent research that focuses on the experiences of migrant workers. The cross-cultural analytical approach offers a fresh perspective on globally inclusive meanings of paid domestic work and its relationship with feminism, challenging feminist dogmas and popular myths about housework and locating domestic work within the wider field of work.

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