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Work, Labour and CleaningThe Social Contexts of Outsourcing Housework$
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Lotika Singha

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781529201468

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781529201468.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM POLICY PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.policypress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Policy Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PPSO for personal use.date: 28 May 2020

The Imperfect Contours of Outsourced Domestic Cleaning as Dirty Work

The Imperfect Contours of Outsourced Domestic Cleaning as Dirty Work

(p.83) 4 The Imperfect Contours of Outsourced Domestic Cleaning as Dirty Work
Work, Labour and Cleaning

Lotika Singha

Policy Press

This chapter considers the symbolic construction of domestic cleaning as dirty work and the real, physical work of dealing with dirt. Through the lens of outsourced domestic cleaning – how much cleaning is necessary and what can be outsourced – the chapter shows that an ‘objective’ analysis of human experiences of dealing with real physical dirt is not possible without reference to dirt’s moral meanings for the researched as well as the researcher. The chapter concludes that the dirty work approach offers an incomplete understanding of paid domestic work and that an alternative paradigm is required.

Keywords:   alternative, dirt, dirty work, domestic cleaning, moral meanings, outsourced domestic cleaning, paradigm, physical dirt

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