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Journal article

MAID OR MADAM? Filipina Migrant Workers and the Continuity of Domestic Labor

Date

2003

Authors

Pei-Chia Lan

Abstract

This article examines the complexity of feminized domestic labor in the context of global migration. I view unpaid household labor and paid domestic work not as dichotomous categories but as structural continuities across the public and private spheres. Based on a qualitative study of Filipina migrant domestic workers in Taiwan, I demonstrate how women travel through the maid/madam boundary-- housewives in home countries become breadwinners by doing domestic work overseas, and foreign maids turn into foreign brides. While migrant women sell their domestic labor in the market, they remain burdened with gendered responsibilities in their own families. Their simultaneous occupancy of paid and unpaid domestic labor is segmented into distinct spatial settings. I underscore women's agency by presenting how they articulate their paid and unpaid domestic labor and bargain with the monetary and emotional value of their labor

Journal title

Gender and Society

Volume

17

Issue

2

Page numbers

187-208

Publisher

Sage Publications, Inc.

File Attachments

Links

Keywords

Domestic Workers, Philippine, Taiwan

Economic sectors

Occupations in services - Domestic work

Content types

Statistics on work and life conditions

Target groups

Policymakers, Public awareness, Researchers, Unions, and NGOs/community groups/solidarity networks

Geographical focuses

Philippines and Taiwan

Spheres of activity

Gender and sexuality studies

Languages

English