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Gender and Globalization in Asia and the PacificMethod, Practice, Theory$
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Kathy E. Ferguson and Monique Mironesco

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780824831592

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824831592.001.0001

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The Social Imaginary and Kin Recruitment

The Social Imaginary and Kin Recruitment

Mexican Women Reshaping Domestic Work

Chapter:
(p.161) Chapter 9 The Social Imaginary and Kin Recruitment
Source:
Gender and Globalization in Asia and the Pacific
Author(s):

Maria De La Luz Ibarra

Publisher:
University of Hawai'i Press
DOI:10.21313/hawaii/9780824831592.003.0009

This chapter interrogates some of the ways in which domestic workers' imagination and gendered “transnational” practices “from below” shape domestic labor. It focuses on the edited life histories of two Mexican immigrant women, one in Santa Barbara, California—a traditional site of Mexican migration—and one in Honolulu, Hawai‘i, a relatively recent site of migration. This analysis of their narratives foregrounds their gendered social imaginary as a potent force shaping not only their desire to migrate, but also, once they have done so, to recruit female kin. Recruitment is an attempt to fulfill affective obligations and create closer-knit families within a transnational context that physically alienates people. The end result of these recruitment practices is the transformation of domestic employment into a group-centered activity, which may provide women with greater opportunities not only for economic gain but also for more intimate forms of community.

Keywords:   domestic workers, gendered transnational practices, domestic labor, Mexican immigrant women, social imaginary, recruitment, domestic employment, transnational community

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