The politics of care work and migration

Authored by: Franca van Hooren , Birgit Apitzsch , Clémence Ledoux

The Routledge Handbook of the Politics of Migration in Europe

Print publication date:  July  2018
Online publication date:  July  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138201187
eBook ISBN: 9781315512853
Adobe ISBN:


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Across Europe, migrants are often employed as providers of care or domestic services, thus forming an alternative for public care provision or contributing to the supply of publicly financed care. This chapter discusses how the growing demand for migrant care workers is related to transformations of European care systems. While public policies stimulate the development of care and domestic services, these policies often contribute to precarious employment and poor working conditions. The chapter also shows how migrant care work is shaped by colonial legacies and stratified systems of entry routes and citizenship within Europe, with specific attention for east-west migration. Finally, the chapter highlights the importance of the politics of migrant care work in relation to social care and migration policy. In this context, political actors at the supra-, trans- and national level are of critical relevance, but they have so far received only little attention in contemporary research on the politics of migrant care work.

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