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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

The Occupational Relations of Domestic Cleaning as Work and Labour

The Occupational Relations of Domestic Cleaning as Work and Labour

(p.167) 7 The Occupational Relations of Domestic Cleaning as Work and Labour
Work, Labour and Cleaning

Lotika Singha

Policy Press

This chapter shows how cultural injustices obstruct service-providers’efforts to do cleaning as work. When the work is done as labour, therelationship is substantially unequal because of some combination of class,class–caste, gender and socioeconomic (and racial) disparities, and becausethe work done is considered low status. That is, both the work and workerare stigmatised. The worker often harbours ‘ressentiment’When cleaning is done as work, there will be a friendly work relationshipthat can be located within wider work relationships, but participatoryparity between the service-user and service-provider can be hampered byservice-users’ classed actions that inadvertently or intentionally retrenchhousework as low-value ‘women’s work’. For instance, feeling guilty aboutoutsourcing housecleaning or assuming that the service-provider needshelp in recognising their rights as workers. Such injustices as practisedin relation to commodified ‘women’s work’ in the home are part of thewider cultural injustices that pervade paid work more generally.

Keywords:   domestic work, cleaning, cultural injustices, friendly work relationship, guilty, labour, occupational relations, participatory parity, stigma, women’s work, work

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