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carework, domestic work, women's work, care labor, labor rights


Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies


This research examines the ways in which the value of care labor has fluctuated over time and the patterns of devaluation, resistance, and organizing that have persisted. A multi-pronged approach is necessary in order to restructure and value care. We must think of carework as embedded in discriminatory history, as increasingly global labor, and recognize the symbiotic relationship between those who give and receive care. This capstone analyzes the relationship between carework and “women’s work”, slavery, and immigration because the devalued status of care labor largely stems from race, gender, class, and nationality dynamics. The development and impact of the domestic worker movement in the United States and its relationship to care labor’s value is also examined. The current domestic worker movement has developed into a groundbreaking feminist model of worker and labor rights, as they build from past obstacles and successes to find inclusive, sustainable models of organizing that elevate all workers. Domestic workers center their organizing around community, dignity, and protections. They are fighting to gain material protections while challenging and rebuilding perceptions and understandings of care. As the demand for caring labor increases in the USA, it is critical to think about how to create reciprocal respect, dignity, and protection for both the receivers of care and care givers. The limitations of this work include a lack of interviews and reliable data around organization membership and involvement and the enforcement and effectiveness of laws around domestic worker rights.

Department 1 Awarding Honors Status

Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


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