From Servants to Workers: South African Domestic Workers and the Democratic State

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9780801448324: From Servants to Workers: South African Domestic Workers and the Democratic State
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In the past decade, hundreds of thousands of women from poorer countries have braved treacherous journeys to richer countries to work as poorly paid domestic workers. Scholars and activists denounce compromised forms of citizenship that expose these women to at times shocking exploitation and abuse.

In From Servants to Workers, Shireen Ally asks whether the low wages and poor working conditions so characteristic of migrant domestic work can truly be resolved by means of the extension of citizenship rights. Following South Africa's "miraculous" transition to democracy, more than a million poor black women who had endured a despotic organization of paid domestic work under apartheid became the beneficiaries of one of the world's most impressive and extensive efforts to formalize and modernize paid domestic work through state regulation. Instead of undergoing a dramatic transformation, servitude relations stubbornly resisted change. Ally locates an explanation for this in the tension between the forms of power deployed by the state in its efforts to protect workers, on the one hand, and the forms of power workers recover through the intimate nature of their work, on the other.

Listening attentively to workers' own narrations of their entry into democratic citizenship-rights, Ally explores the political implications of paid domestic work as an intimate form of labor. From Servants to Workers integrates sociological insights with the often-heartbreaking life histories of female domestic workers in South Africa and provides rich detail of the streets, homes, and churches of Johannesburg where these women work, live, and socialize.

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"From Servants to Workers is a readable and engaging volume containing multiple strong voices of women informants and union activists. Shireen Ally describes the measures that the postapartheid South African state has taken to professionalize and formalize domestic service. Ally's trenchant analysis examines nation-building and the role of the state in crafting concepts of women's empowerment (or lack thereof) through wage labor and legal protections. This is a must-read book for feminist scholars interested in gender, social change, and the state."--Michele Ruth Gamburd, Portland State University, author of The Kitchen Spoon's Handle: Transnationalism and Sri Lanka's Migrant Housemaids

"In this most important book, Shireen Ally explores the paradox of independence: as private domestic workers became recognized in the labor law of the postapartheid state, as their work became 'modernized' to be like other forms of employment, their unions withered."--Eileen Boris, Hull Professor and Chair, Department of Feminist Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara, author of Home to Work: Motherhood and the Politics of Industrial Homework in the United States

About the Author:

Shireen Ally teaches in the Department of Sociology at the University of the Witwatersrand, South Africa.

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Book Description Cornell University Press, United States, 2009. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. In the past decade, hundreds of thousands of women from poorer countries have braved treacherous journeys to richer countries to work as poorly paid domestic workers. Scholars and activists denounce compromised forms of citizenship that expose these women to at times shocking exploitation and abuse. In From Servants to Workers, Shireen Ally asks whether the low wages and poor working conditions so characteristic of migrant domestic work can truly be resolved by means of the extension of citizenship rights. Following South Africa s miraculous transition to democracy, more than a million poor black women who had endured a despotic organization of paid domestic work under apartheid became the beneficiaries of one of the world s most impressive and extensive efforts to formalize and modernize paid domestic work through state regulation. Instead of undergoing a dramatic transformation, servitude relations stubbornly resisted change. Ally locates an explanation for this in the tension between the forms of power deployed by the state in its efforts to protect workers, on the one hand, and the forms of power workers recover through the intimate nature of their work, on the other. Listening attentively to workers own narrations of their entry into democratic citizenship-rights, Ally explores the political implications of paid domestic work as an intimate form of labor. From Servants to Workers integrates sociological insights with the often-heartbreaking life histories of female domestic workers in South Africa and provides rich detail of the streets, homes, and churches of Johannesburg where these women work, live, and socialize. Seller Inventory # APC9780801448324

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Book Description Cornell University Press, United States, 2009. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.In the past decade, hundreds of thousands of women from poorer countries have braved treacherous journeys to richer countries to work as poorly paid domestic workers. Scholars and activists denounce compromised forms of citizenship that expose these women to at times shocking exploitation and abuse. In From Servants to Workers, Shireen Ally asks whether the low wages and poor working conditions so characteristic of migrant domestic work can truly be resolved by means of the extension of citizenship rights. Following South Africa s miraculous transition to democracy, more than a million poor black women who had endured a despotic organization of paid domestic work under apartheid became the beneficiaries of one of the world s most impressive and extensive efforts to formalize and modernize paid domestic work through state regulation. Instead of undergoing a dramatic transformation, servitude relations stubbornly resisted change. Ally locates an explanation for this in the tension between the forms of power deployed by the state in its efforts to protect workers, on the one hand, and the forms of power workers recover through the intimate nature of their work, on the other. Listening attentively to workers own narrations of their entry into democratic citizenship-rights, Ally explores the political implications of paid domestic work as an intimate form of labor. From Servants to Workers integrates sociological insights with the often-heartbreaking life histories of female domestic workers in South Africa and provides rich detail of the streets, homes, and churches of Johannesburg where these women work, live, and socialize. Seller Inventory # APC9780801448324

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Book Description ILR Press. Hardcover. Condition: New. 240 pages. Dimensions: 9.0in. x 6.0in. x 0.2in.In the past decade, hundreds of thousands of women from poorer countries have braved treacherous journeys to richer countries to work as poorly paid domestic workers. Scholars and activists denounce compromised forms of citizenship that expose these women to at times shocking exploitation and abuse. In From Servants to Workers, Shireen Ally asks whether the low wages and poor working conditions so characteristic of migrant domestic work can truly be resolved by means of the extension of citizenship rights. Following South Africas miraculous transition to democracy, more than a million poor black women who had endured a despotic organization of paid domestic work under apartheid became the beneficiaries of one of the worlds most impressive and extensive efforts to formalize and modernize paid domestic work through state regulation. Instead of undergoing a dramatic transformation, servitude relations stubbornly resisted change. Ally locates an explanation for this in the tension between the forms of power deployed by the state in its efforts to protect workers, on the one hand, and the forms of power workers recover through the intimate nature of their work, on the other. Listening attentively to workers own narrations of their entry into democratic citizenship-rights, Ally explores the political implications of paid domestic work as an intimate form of labor. From Servants to Workers integrates sociological insights with the often-heartbreaking life histories of female domestic workers in South Africa and provides rich detail of the streets, homes, and churches of Johannesburg where these women work, live, and socialize. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Hardcover. Seller Inventory # 9780801448324

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