Work, Labour, and Cleaning

The Social Contexts of Outsourcing Housework

Lotika Singha

Work, Labour, and Cleaning

Lotika Singha

Distributed for Bristol University Press

216 pages | 6 1/4 x 9 1/4
Cloth $115.00 ISBN: 9781529201468 Published August 2019 For sale in North and South America only
Outsourcing of domestic work in the UK has been steadily rising since the 1970s, but little research has considered White British women working as independent cleaning service-providers. Recent work primarily focuses on migrant workers, particularly in London, a region unrepresentative of the wider United Kingdom. Based on new research in two countries (UK and India) this book argues that outsourced domestic cleaning can either be done as mental and manual skilled work or as manual and ‘natural’ emotional/affective labour, depending on the work conditions. This nuanced cross-cultural analysis of outsourced domestic cleaning offers a fresh perspective on domestic work, as well as its relationship with feminism and the wider field of work by challenging feminist dogmas and popular myths about housework.
Contents
Introduction; Feminist approaches to paid domestic work: a critique; Demographic considerations in outsourced domestic cleaning in the study areas; The politics of outsourcing cleaning in (middle-class) households; The imperfect contours of paid domestic work as dirty work; Domestic cleaning: work or labour?; Meanings of domestic cleaning as work and as labour; Cultural injustices in the occupational relations of domestic cleaning as work and as labour; Conclusion: the case for reconciliation; Appendices.
Review Quotes
Sabrina Marchetti, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice
"Brilliant and thought-provoking, this much needed book takes up the challenge to compare two realities treated so far as ‘worlds apart’.’’
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