Race, Gender & Class & “Intersecting Inequalities” within Filipina Care Work

Read scholars Jennifer Nazareno, Cynthia Cranford, Lolita Lledo, Valerie Damasco and Patricia Roach’s newly published article in Vol. 36 of the Gender & Society journal entitled, Between Women of Color: The New Social Organization of Reproductive Labor. Together these sociologists unpack the complex relationship between migration, race, gender and class and care work through the lens of Filipina elder care workers in Los Angeles, California.

Below is the abstract:

In this article, we examine citizenship inequalities in paid reproductive labor. Through an analysis of elder care in Los Angeles, California, based on interviews with Filipina home care agency workers and owners, we delineate citizen divisions made up of two interlocking dimensions. The longstanding U.S. welfare state abdication of responsibility for elder care for its citizens generates a racialized, gendered citizenship division that facilitates another citizenship division between women of color. The outsourcing of elder care by the government to the private sector including small business in the ethnic economy allows Filipina immigrants with legal citizenship to become middle-women minorities who hire undocumented Filipinas to provide care for white, middle-class, older adult women and their families. Through this new social organization of reproductive labor, responsibility is directed away from the state and generating tensions between women of color with different legal statuses. Our findings show how racialized, gendered inequalities are reinforced through this new social organization of reproductive labor but also demonstrate potential for undermining intersecting inequalities.

Read the complete paper here.


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