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Selling Motherhood: Gendered Emotional Labor, Citizenly Discounting, and Alienation among China’s Migrant Domestic Workers

Fu, H and Su, Y and Ni, A (2018) 'Selling Motherhood: Gendered Emotional Labor, Citizenly Discounting, and Alienation among China’s Migrant Domestic Workers.' Gender and Society, 32 (6). 814 - 836. ISSN 0891-2432

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Abstract

© 2018 by The Author(s). The feminization of care migration in transnational contexts has received a great deal of attention. Scholars, however, have been slow to investigate a similar trend in intranational contexts. This article expands existing research on global care chains by examining the gendered emotional labor of migrant domestic workers pertaining to China’s intranational care chains. While the former often foregrounds “racial or ethnic discounting,” the latter is characterized by “citizenly discounting” whereby migrant domestic workers are subject to an overarching system of alienation, subordination, and exploitation owning to their second-class rural hùkŏu (household registration) status. Drawing on a participant-observation study of nannies, this article highlights how the intersection of gender and rural-urban citizenship is the key to grasping China’s migrant domestic workers’ experiences of extensive alienation at the nexus of work, family, and wider society. By delving into a particular set of political, economic, and cultural forces in the Chinese context, the article makes a distinctive contribution to a more nuanced and context-sensitive understanding of the interface of gender, emotional labor, and care migration.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Women
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Essex Business School
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 28 Nov 2018 11:18
Last Modified: 15 Jan 2019 17:15
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/23377

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