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Access Type

WSU Access

Date of Award

January 2018

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Department

Communication

First Advisor

Kelly Young

Second Advisor

Bryan McCann

Abstract

This project expands on our understanding of care labor and how activism functions when the groups that are fighting for their rights are raced, classed, and gendered bodies. Domestic care workers’ organizing efforts and the push to make their voices resonate within global, national, and local institutions constitutes a historic step towards gaining attention and respect for a type of labor that is relegated to the shadows. More importantly, domestic care workers have also sought to secure fair wages, decent work conditions, time-off, clear demarcation of their duties, and protection when threatened by work conditions that puts their migrant status at a risk. This project argues that domestic workers challenge the purportedly clean divisions of affective and non-affective labor as theorized in the context of contemporary capitalism. Specifically, as an alternative to popular concepts such as “the multitude,” I contend that, by conceptualizing human agency as emanating out of their epistemic standpoint, domestic workers enhance their political potential as a nomadic collective. Working from a materialist transnational feminist perspective, I recuperate the term nomadism as a resistance strategy in confronting globalization and, in so doing, focus on naming the agency employed by domestic workers.

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