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Research about domestic work, domestic workers, and domestic worker organizing is an abundant and growing field. The attention garnered by organizing efforts by and on behalf of domestic workers, both nationally and internationally, has served as a spur to scholars in a wide range of disciplines. Structured interchange between scholars and organizers has the potential to enrich the work of both groups, providing theoretical, historical, and empirical context to the work of organizers and providing scholars with an understanding of the priority issues that arise within the context of organizing.
Domestic work and domestic worker organizing have been subjects of discussion at a range of academic conferences, including conferences devoted to labor history, sociology, and gender studies. This research conference on domestic workers and domestic worker organizing will provide the setting for a more intensive and comprehensive look at key issues related to domestic work by bringing together scholars from diverse areas of interest and expertise. We will create the opportunity for frank assessments about the status of academic research about domestic work, workers and organizing: major scholarly accomplishments, critical areas of debate or contention, as well as un- or under-explored issues. Join us for this historic set of conversations.
For more details on the National Domestic Workers Alliance, see their website.
Sponsored by the National Domestic Workers Alliance and the Barnard Center for Research on Women. Co-Sponsored by The Worker Institute at Cornell University, Labor Research Action Network, Murphy Institute for Worker Education and Labor Studies, UCLA Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, UC Santa Barbara Department of Feminist Studies, UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education, and the Roosevelt Institute
Unless otherwise stated, all panels are held in the Event Oval in the Diana Center.
Janet Jakobsen and Lydia Catina Amaya
Domestic Work and Domestic Workers – Critical Advances in a Field of Inquiry
Eileen Boris, Elizabeth Clark-Lewis, Evelyn Nakano Glenn, Tera Hunter, Mary Romero, Linda Burnham (chair)
Pioneering scholarship during the 1980s and 1990s advanced our theoretical and empirical understanding of domestic work and domestic worker organizing. Panelists will discuss how this wave of research established new conceptual frameworks about labor, gender, race, and resistance.
Allison Thompson Julien
Eva Kittay, Jennifer Klein, Cecilia Rio, Peggie Smith, Nik Theodore (chair)
The domestic work industry is structured by major axes of social inequality, including class, race, gender, citizenship, age, and ability. Panelists will discuss how these inequalities shape the occupation of domestic labor and how domestic labor reinforces and recreates hierarchies.
Tamara Mose, Rhacel Parreñas, Saskia Sassen, Martina Vandenberg, Grace Chang (chair)
Globalization has altered the supply of and demand for domestic workers. This panel will address the context for the development of the globalized market in domestic labor, the impact of globalization on the experiences and characteristics of the workforce, as well as similarities and differences between the globalization of domestic work and other transnational circuits of labor.
Lunch will available outside the Event Oval to be picked up and taken to breakout groups.
Building on the themes addressed by the panels, the three emerging scholar dialogues are facilitated by PhD students and recently appointed professors who are doing some of the most interesting and innovative work in the field. The emerging scholar dialogues provide the opportunity to engage with new issues and approaches while also deepening the inquiry initiated by the panels.
The two issue area breakout groups focus on topics that are critical to building effective campaigns for domestic workers’ rights: research whose subject is the employers of domestic workers and legal scholarship aimed at broadening the rights of domestic workers.
Participants can also create their own breakout session at an open table in the Event Oval—let us know what you discuss and how you’d like to keep the conversation going by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and/or posting to justiceinthehome.wikispaces.com.
Facilitated by: Jaira Harrington, Katherine Maich, Nancy Morales, and Danielle Phillips
Facilitated by: Sandra Castro, Riya Ortiz, Nancy Pérez, and Ethel Tungohan
Facilitated by: Lindsey Dayton, Lydia Edwards, Harmony Goldberg, and Shana Russell
Facilitated by: Peggie Smith and Haeyoung Yoon
Facilitated by: Danielle Ferris and Natalia Garcia
Janice Fine, Fish Ip, Andrea Cristina Mercado, Premilla Nadasen, Claire Hobden (chair)
The panel examines historical precedents of household worker organizing and the critical challenges facing the contemporary movement for domestic workers’ rights, in the US and internationally. Panelists will analyze the principal strategies utilized by domestic worker organizers, consider efforts to build transnational alliances, and assess campaigns to foster coalitions with other labor organizers.
Saturday’s session will be devoted to forging ongoing relationships between organizers and scholars, considering new directions for research, and developing materials for popular education. We encourage the participation of anyone interested in long-term collaborations between domestic worker organizers and researchers whose focus is domestic labor.
Working groups meet simultaneously:
1. Developing Collaborations Between Research and Organizers
Facilitated by: Linda Burnham and KC Wagner
2. Developing a Network of Scholars
Facilitated by: Claire Hobden and Premilla Nadasen
3. Developing Resources for Popular Education, Organizing, and Advocacy
Facilitated by: Karina Muñiz and Natalia Tracy