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Domestic Workers’ Strategies of Resistance to Chronic Workplace Violence in Medellín, Colombia


Domestic Workers’ Strategies of Resistance to Chronic Workplace Violence in Medellín, Colombia

Doyle, Audrey-Anne (2021) Domestic Workers’ Strategies of Resistance to Chronic Workplace Violence in Medellín, Colombia. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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In Colombia, 94% of domestic workers are women and they make up 7% of the female workforce (DANE 2020). Approximately 80% are Afro-Descendant or Indigenous and 25% of those working in Cali, Medellin and Bogota have been displaced by the ongoing armed conflict. Domestic workers often work long hours in exchange for low wages; do not have access to social security or social benefits; are victims of physical, verbal and/or sexual abuse; and are not perceived by society as valuable members of the workforce (De Cicco 2014; Donaldson and Osorio 2016; Moreno-Salamanca 2017). This thesis examines the centuries of social, economic, and institutional persecution of “othered” races and classes that feed chronic violence against domestic workers in contemporary Colombian society. This structural violence also determines what strategies are used to resist workplace violence and the extent to which these strategies are effective. In addition, this thesis explores the impact of unionization on everyday resistance strategies. Findings from ethnographic research and semi-structured interviews in Medellin, Colombia indicate that resistance under the form of exit, confrontation and negotiation have allowed domestic workers to guarantee their survival (physical and mental preservation), promote contextual adjustments (attenuate oppression and improve access to resources) and cause positive transformations in the structural sources of abuse (Mayer 2021).

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Political Science
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Doyle, Audrey-Anne
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Political Science
Date:17 March 2021
Thesis Supervisor(s):Mayer, Jean François
Keywords:domestic work, chronic workplace violence, resistance, Latin America, Colombia
ID Code:988256
Deposited On:29 Jun 2021 21:12
Last Modified:15 Aug 2021 20:17


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