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In Service and Servitude: Foreign Female Domestic Workers and the Malaysian
     

In Service and Servitude: Foreign Female Domestic Workers and the Malaysian "Modernity Project"

by Christine B. N. Chin
 

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ISBN-10: 0231109865

ISBN-13: 9780231109864

Pub. Date: 06/02/1998

Publisher: Columbia University Press

In Service and Servitude explores the relationship between contemporary domestic service and the pursuit of the "good life" in an era of global economic transformation. The author offers an interdisciplinary approach to examining the in-migration of foreign domestic workers in Malaysia.
The book uses Malaysia as a case study of the role played

Overview

In Service and Servitude explores the relationship between contemporary domestic service and the pursuit of the "good life" in an era of global economic transformation. The author offers an interdisciplinary approach to examining the in-migration of foreign domestic workers in Malaysia.
The book uses Malaysia as a case study of the role played by foreign domestics in a rapidly industrializing Asian country. Christine Chin discusses how the state elites and the middle classes come to rationalize the demand for-and treatment of-domestic workers while pursuing the country's modernity project, designed to create a stable, developed, multiethnic society. She shows how different and competing pressures on the regional, national, and household levels leave Filipina and Indonesian domestics open to mistreatment and abuse, most directly by employment agencies and employers. Chin argues that late-twentieth-century efforts to expand open markets and establish global free trade, encourage the exploitation of transnational migrant workers, and that such exploitation should not become an acceptable part of pursuing the "good life."

This is an impressive piece of original -and ambitious-analysis. In Service and Servitude makes much clearer than most [scholarship] that a state elite intent upon a neo- liberal strategy of international economic competition relies on particular sorts of relationships between women and men. Chin convincingly demonstrates that the allegedly 'private' sphere of domestic work is in reality subject to political manipulations-especially via state labor legislation (or deliberate refusal to include it under itslegislative aegis) and via state labor immigration policies. (Cynthia Enloe, author of Bananas, Beaches, and Bases: Making Feminist Sense of International Politics )

A rare example of field research that critically links the micro and the macro, this book examines the export-import of domestic service workers within the politics of development in Malaysia and the global political economy. (Ligaya Lindio-McGovern, Indiana University)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780231109864
Publisher:
Columbia University Press
Publication date:
06/02/1998
Pages:
336
Age Range:
18 Years

Table of Contents

List of Tables
Preface
Acknowledgments
Abbreviations
1. Introduction
2. Arranging and Rearranging the Interior Frontiers of Society
3. "Boys, Amahs, and Girls": Domestic Workers of the Past and Present
4. The Malaysian-Philippine-Indonesian Maid Trade
5. Infrapolitics of Domestic Service: Strategies of, and Resistances to, Control
6. Modernity Via Consumption: Domestic Service and the Making of the Modern Malaysian Middle Classes
7. Conclusion
Glossary
Notes
Bibliography
Index

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