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Class Name

TSOC 555 Sociology of Gender


Dr. Natalie Jolly


In the past three decades, as the economy of the industrialized countries has moved towards the growing Tech industry, middle-class women have found more opportunities to fill in white-collared job positions (McDowell, 2009). The increase in the rate of women’s participation in the labor market has made them less willing to do (or capable of doing) the housework and child/elderly care _ the tasks which are historically stereotyped as feminine (ibid). Therefore, a considerably growing trend in paid domestic labor is being introduced to formerly blue-collared and dominantly immigrant women (England, P.: 2005). The tasks which are regarded as “labor of love” and home as defined the place of “affection” are now commodified (McDowell, 2009; England, K.: 2010). The transformation of unpaid reproductive labor to paid reproductive labor as well as the transformation of home as a place of no-work to the place of production of surplus-value, not only affects women economically and socially but also intervenes in their identity formation.

This project takes a quick look at the situation immigrant women domestic workers experience, and how their embodiment of labor is affected through the transformation of unpaid reproductive work in their own home to the waged out-of-home reproductive labor. This study applies the lenses of feminist studies, sociology, geography and economics in the intersection of gender, race, and nationality to argue that to immigrant domestic working women such an economically transformative process generates double alienation due to the stereotypically genderized notion of the reproductive labor, as well as the racial/ethnic/transnational cultural conflicts.




domestic labor, double alienation, waged reproductive labor, cultural studies, spatial scale, gender, home, nation, race, labor feminism, feminist geography.


Gender and Sexuality | Human Geography | Inequality and Stratification | Labor Economics | Migration Studies | Other International and Area Studies | Race and Ethnicity | Sociology of Culture

‘Maid in the USA’: Immigrant Women, Domestic Labor and  Double Alienation