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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: 29 May 2020

Meanings of Domestic Cleaning as Work and Labour

Meanings of Domestic Cleaning as Work and Labour

(p.129) 6 Meanings of Domestic Cleaning as Work and Labour
Work, Labour and Cleaning

Lotika Singha

Policy Press

This chapter locatespaid-for housecleaning within the wider world of paid and unpaid work.With regard to the UK, this draws on the previous work experiencesof the research respondents, and their reasons for preferring self-employmentor undeclared work and selectively using established goodbusiness practices. In India, there was a lack of work experience inother industries, and the accounts highlight the intersectional impactsof ‘men’s work’, patriarchy and desire for education on the investmentby the respondents in their work and its meanings for them. Together,these analyses show that domestic work is not inherently ‘dead-end’ – theworking conditions make a significant difference to how work is perceivedand experienced. Finally, the respondents’ classed (and casteised) understandings of thework in two cultures indicate that the problem with paid domestic labouris not commodification per se, but the way the work itself – and workmore generally – has been commodified.

Keywords:   commodification, education, good business practices, investment, paid work, patriarchy, self-employment, undeclared work, unpaid work, working conditions

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