Free «Domestica: Immigrant Workers Cleaning and Caring in the Shadows of Affluence» Essay Paper
By was of introduction, the book standouts to be one of the prolific works where the writer goes out of his way to determine the best course of action for a profession that has not seen much research conducted on it. The writer particularly shows how important it is to extend the same human rights and dignity to people employed in the domestic sector and more so, it recognizes the global extent to which the sector has become which makes it really important for international standards to be employed here as well.
One of the important areas the book has tackled and which I explore is on the growth of domestic work in US. The author, Hondagneu-Sotelo makes it clear that the proliferation of domestic work in the US is a direct impact of the increased number of women gaining formal employment. That is, as mothers go to work and grandmothers probably working or staying away, and the relative scarcity of daycare centers in the US, employing nannies and housekeepers becomes the only formidable avenue to balance the already constrained time (Pierrette, 4).
The proliferation of domestic work is also related to the many advantage it offers compared to the available daycare centers, a factor that has made many middle income Americans to use it instead of the daycare. Many middle class Americans see the mainstream daycare centers as offering second class treatment to their kids in a more institutionalized manner that is not conducive for the overall development of their kids. Also, they see domestic workers as offering a lot of convenience and flexibility that is not available with the daycare centers which are very rigid and often slump parents with a lot of penalties (Pierrette, 5).
Domestic work proliferation is also found to be the result of expanding income inequality in the US. Hondagneu-Sotelo reiterates, “Income inequality contributes to expansion of domestic work” (Pierrette, 5). The book states that the dominant ideology 20th C to increase financial inclusion by reducing income inequality was short lived as events after World War II created a group of well paid individuals and leaving those without proper education to wallow in poverty. The book makes it clear that such huge gaps in income where the well educated soaked in higher and the uneducated in low paying jobs opened the gate for the proliferation of employed domestic workers (Pierrette, 6).
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The book reviews some other studies conducted to determine the relationship between income distribution and employed domestic workers and the results clearly pointed that cities with higher income disparity tend to have higher population employed in the domestic sector. Ruth Milkman is one of the few scholars who carried out the study and found out that Los Angeles due to its high income inequality was topping the list of American cities with high employed domestic workers (Pierrette, 6).
The emergence of Los Angeles as a major hub for paid domestic workers is due to confluence of factors. First of all, the author affirms that the city is regarded as one of the Global Cities of the world and serves a critical role of connecting the global economy. Many employed people after the recession of 1990s yielded a lot of bonuses besides people being employed in the high end sectors of the economy like lawyers, engineers earning fat salaries. This group of high salaried people required domestic workers that could perform most of the domestic duties in their houses (Pierrette, 7).
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