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Markets, Regimes, and the Role of Stakeholders: Explaining Precariousness of Migrant Domestic/Care Workers in Different Institutional Frameworks
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology. Pompeu Fabra University, Spain.
Number of Authors: 1
2015 (English)In: Social Politics: International Studies in Gender, State and Society, ISSN 1072-4745, E-ISSN 1468-2893, Vol. 22, no 2, 220-241 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Spain and Sweden represent societies with very different welfare, migration, and employment regimes in a European context, but in both countries, female migrant workers in the private domestic/care sectors experience precarious job conditions. The purpose of this article is to explain the situation of migrant workers in these societies through an analysis of both structural components and the position of stakeholders involved in the private care/domestic services sector. Comparing the cases of Spain and Sweden, I argue that different characteristics of regimes and markets-rather paradoxically-produce similar results for the workers. In both countries, there is pressure to keep the wages low. Work hours are often unpredictable and adapted to the clients' demands. In Spain, these workers fill the care gap, representing a comparably affordable solution to the lack of public eldercare. In Sweden, the private domestic services market expanded after the so-called RUT tax subsidy was implemented in 2007. Here, cleaning companies play a key role as middlemen who receive a large share of the cost for these services. Few actors represent the workers, and those who do find themselves restrained by structural factors (as NGOs in Spain) or ambiguous in their support (as the Swedish trade unions). All in all, the female migrant domestic/care workers in Spain and Sweden apparently form part of the development towards a migrant precariat in European societies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 22, no 2, 220-241 p.
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URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-120480DOI: 10.1093/sp/jxv010ISI: 000358781800005OAI: diva2:853218
Available from: 2015-09-11 Created: 2015-09-10 Last updated: 2015-09-11Bibliographically approved

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Hellgren, Zenia
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