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Servants of Globalization: Women, Migration, and Domestic Work, First Edition 1st Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0804739221
ISBN-10: 0804739226
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Editorial Reviews


"[Parrenas's] nuanced accounts and fresh analysis challenge the reader to think deeply, not just about the suffering of immigrant domestic workers and their families, but about the entire global system that creates such labor, and how that arrangement damages all women—even first-worlders. . . . Remarkable."—The Women's Review of Books

"Offers rich and timely analysis to reveal the lives of migrant domestic workers in the shadow of globalization. . . . Brilliant feminist sociological scholarship with theoretical sophistication, emotional sensitivity, and political committment."—Work and Occupations

"This is a thorough analysis of the lives of migrant domestic workers. . . .In all, this book brings to light many thought-provoking stories of anguish, resignation, and resistance. . . . This book is a welcome addition to the body of literature addressing women domestic migrants. Parrenas's work advances our understanding of transnational domestic workers. . . . In addition to being a fascinating inside look at . . . two communities, Parrenas's study serves as an intrusive model for other scholars interested in undertaking this type of research."—Gender & Society

"Parrenas' well-documented and theoretically focused research reads easily as it reveals the complex nature of global migration. Her timely study of the Filipina domestic community brings overdue attention to one of the largest migrant communities in the world. . . . [Servants of Globalization] can be used for introductory courses in labor studies, women's studies, or ethnicity in the United States."—Feminist Collections

"Servants of Globalization is a wonderful but troubling book that is bound to impact future studies on migration, domestic work, and the family. . . . Overall, I strongly recommend this book. It is one of the few works that has dared to explore the dilemmas of the transnational family including the children."—Contemporary Sociology
"Servants of Globalization is an ambitious, important, and broad-reaching study of the way in which the lives of Filipina domestic workers in Italy and the United States are affected by and interwoven with broader patterns of global capitalism and transnationalism. . . . A provocative, insightful, and moving study of gendered labor migration and globalization. For those with an interest in Asian American studies, this book provides less of a case study of Filipinos in Los Angeles than a wider challenge and an innovative theoretical framework for understanding immigrant communities within the context of transnationalism and global capitalism."–Journal of Asian American Studies
"Servants of Globalization is a welcome addition to the growing literature on gender and globalization. . . . This wide-ranging book yields substantial insights throughout and should be read by scholars, activists, and students interested in Asian American studies, women's studies, sociology, anthropology, and international development."—American Journal of Sociology
"Although many authors have written on the Filipina diaspora, few have provided such a detailed examination of this phenomenon and linked it so skilfully to some of the key debates about the international division of labour and global inequalities."—Katie Willis, University of Liverpool

From the Inside Flap

Servants of Globalization is a poignant and often troubling study of migrant Filipina domestic workers who leave their own families behind to do the mothering and caretaking work of the global economy in countries throughout the world. It specifically focuses on the emergence of parallel lives among such workers in the cities of Rome and Los Angeles, two main destinations for Filipina migration.
The book is largely based on interviews with domestic workers, but the book also powerfully portrays the larger economic picture as domestic workers from developing countries increasingly come to perform the menial labor of the global economy. This is often done at great cost to the relations with their own split-apart families. The experiences of migrant Filipina domestic workers are also shown to entail a feeling of exclusion from their host society, a downward mobility from their professional jobs in the Philippines, and an encounter with both solidarity and competition from other migrant workers in their communities.
The author applies a new theoretical lens to the study of migration—the level of the subject, moving away from the two dominant theoretical models in migration literature, the macro and the intermediate. At the same time, she analyzes the three spatial terrains of the various institutions that migrant Filipina domestic workers inhabit—the local, the transnational, and the global. She draws upon the literature of international migration, sociology of the family, women’s work, and cultural studies to illustrate the reconfiguration of the family community and social identity in migration and globalization. The book shows how globalization not only propels the migration of Filipina domestic workers but also results in the formation of parallel realities among them in cities with greatly different contexts of reception.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 328 pages
  • Publisher: Stanford University Press; 1 edition (April 23, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0804739226
  • ISBN-13: 978-0804739221
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #351,049 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Parreñas, a scholar admired by many whose academic training, coupled with her linguistic skills, draws inquiring minds into the largely untapped world of Filipino international migration. The book critically situates the migration from a historical-structural perspective and yet focuses on the family as the unit of analysis which must negotiate between the state regulations of both sending and receiving countries, the financial realities of citizens from poor countries of the world, and the emotional hardships faced by family members. The study, in general, is an extremely important one because it taps into what is a "female" international labor migration, bound by related expectations of gender roles, thereby encouraging readers to rethink our gendered perspective of all labor migrations. In addition, the book offers an effective assessment of the critical role of the family to young children (the focus of her subsequent book), the challenges faced by poor populations of the world, and how the global economy is structured to benefit wealthy nations of the world. I highly recommend the book and have only a small criticism: though she has carefully helped us to see the gendered inequalities faced by female international migrants, at times in the book Parreñas herself seems quite unnecessarily judgemental of the very women whose predicaments she details.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Do not be turned off by this book because it is written by an academic. It is one of the most moving books I have read in a long time. In toronto, where Philipino nannies work for many families, the book's topics are acute and relevant. The book tells a story of extremely educated women, elite in their society, who take up domestic work in the West in order to provide their children and parents with better opportunities. The book will make you re-think many things that families in the West take for granted, such as being able to sleep under the same roof with their children, and being able to provide for them at the same time.
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