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Legitimizing disentitlements? Employer perceptions of foreign domestic workers in the live-in caregiver program




Kelly Lynn Winter


This study investigates the gate-keeping role of Canadian employers of foreign domestic migrant workers in the Live-in Caregiver Program and the practice of exclusionary citizenship for migrant workers in Canada. By identifying employer attitudes and perceptions of their workers and their rights, this study aims to expose the ideological and institutional processes of Canada's migrant worker policies that legitimize the migrant worker as the non-citizen "other." Employers were recruited by snowball sampling techniques that resulted in 14 semi-structured, in-depth interviews. Interviews revealed employer perceptions of their nanny/housekeeper and their set of rights and suggest that employers hold racialized and gendered stereotypes of their caregiver. Furthermore, citizen employers justified employee disentitlements by the non-citizenship status of their caregiver. This research contributes to the existing literature on the citizenship rights of temporary workers in Canada by examining foreign domestic workers' lack of entitlements, through the employer perceptions and their critical gate-keeping position that significantly affect foreign caregiver citizenship.


University of Guelph (Canada)

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Economic sectors

Occupations in services - Domestic work

Content types

Policy analysis

Target groups

Policymakers, Journalists, Public awareness, Employers, agencies and their representatives, Researchers, Unions, and NGOs/community groups/solidarity networks

Geographical focuses

Canada, Ontario, Alberta, Manitoba, Quebec, British Columbia, Other provinces, Federal, Nova Scotia, and National relevance

Spheres of activity

Anthropology, Cultural and ethnic studies, Gender and sexuality studies, Law, Management of human resources, Political science, and Sociology