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State-Induced Precarity of Domestic Workers? A Comparative Case Study of the Domestic Work Sector in Singapore and Argentina


State-Induced Precarity of Domestic Workers? A Comparative Case Study of the Domestic Work Sector in Singapore and Argentina

Bergeron, Lorraine (2021) State-Induced Precarity of Domestic Workers? A Comparative Case Study of the Domestic Work Sector in Singapore and Argentina. Masters thesis, Concordia University.

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The extent to which paid domestic work is treated differently from regular work brings me to question how Singapore and Argentina's governance of their respective domestic work sector keeps paid domestic work at the lowest possible echelon on the labour scale so it may remain a service as flexible and affordable as possible to middle and upper-class dual-income families. Furthermore, by leaving the responsibility of early childhood care or elderly care in the hands of individuals and families, the state is able to remain relatively uninvolved financially and institutionally in the provision of such services all the while recognizing the importance of paid domestic workers to the economic prosperity of households and national economies. Despite significant differences in Singapore and Argentina's opposing domestic work sector regimes, the first being thightly regulated by the state and the second characterized by a widespread informality, the outcome for female domestic workers is the same, i.e. most experience precarious work conditions. My main hypothesis is that, despite their diverging objectives and implementation processes, existing labour policies in Argentina and Singapore effectively contribute to the precarity of domestic workers by limiting their human and labour rights as well as their occupational choices and professional trajectories. The analytical comparison of domestic work in Argentina and Singapore gives high priority to the key concept of precarity as it intersects with state labour policies that govern the domestic work sector in the dissimilar political, social, and economic contexts of Argentina and Singapore. Although all domestic workers experience some forms precarity due to the labour laws that govern their sector of activity, I find that economic precarity characterizes mainly domestic workers in Argentina as where domestic workers in Singapore suffer most importantly from affective and social precarity.

Divisions:Concordia University > Faculty of Arts and Science > Political Science
Item Type:Thesis (Masters)
Authors:Bergeron, Lorraine
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:M.A.
Program:Political Science
Date:November 2021
Thesis Supervisor(s):Mayer, Jean-François
Keywords:Domestic work / Precarity / Informality / Labour policies / Argentina / Singapore
ID Code:989948
Deposited On:16 Jun 2022 14:29
Last Modified:16 Jun 2022 14:29


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