People out of Place: Globalization, Human Rights, and the Citizenship Gap

By Alison Brysk; Gershon Shafir | Go to book overview

8

Globalized Social Reproduction

Women Migrants and the Citizenship Gap

KRISTEN HILL MAHER

The global economy has produced a great many "people out of place" whose citizenship rights have been complicated by their migration. A growing proportion of those migrating internationally are women, particularly as part of what might be called "globalized social reproduction, " the counterpart to globalized production (Truong 1996:29). Earlier in this century, most social reproduction 1 needs in developed states such as child care, elderly care, cooking, laundry, and housecleaning were supplied by private households, especially by women who carried out these tasks as full-time, unpaid work. To some extent, the welfare state offered support, even while private households remained the primary locus for social reproductive activity. However, in the late twentieth century, women in developed states joined the formal economy in larger numbers, just as neoliberal economic policies began to dismantle the welfare state. Within this context, many middle- and upper-class families turned to the market-and to "importing" labor internationally-in order to meet their social reproduction needs. The resulting "trade in domestic workers" (Heyzer, à Nijeholt, and Weerakoon 1994) involves massive flows of female migrants from less developed states to more developed states and a new "international division of reproductive labor" (Parreñas 2001).

Women who migrate as part of the household service economy are subject to the same kinds of displacement from rights regimes that all relatively poor migrants face. Their home states are not empowered (and often not motivated) to protect their citizenship rights while they are abroad. And there are significant obstacles to their making rights claims in relationship to either the host state's citizenship regime or the international human rights regime. In addition to this general quandary of displacement, migrant women also find themselves positioned in strongly gendered ways in receiving states, such that it is particularly difficult for them to make claims to rights as legal individuals. For migrants such as these, the opportunities available through migration are counterbalanced by losses in rights and citizenship.

Ironically, the women whose own rights claims are compromised by migration enable and enhance the citizenship of those in receiving states in multiple

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People out of Place: Globalization, Human Rights, and the Citizenship Gap
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Acknowledgments vii
  • I - Framework 1
  • 1 - Introduction 3
  • 2 - Citizenship and Human Rights in an Era of Globalization 11
  • II - Producing Citizenship 27
  • 3 - Constituting Political Community 29
  • 4 - Latitudes of Citizenship 53
  • III - Constructing Rights 71
  • 5 - Agency on a Global Scale 73
  • 6 - Mandated Membership, Diluted Identity 87
  • IV - Globalizing the Citizenship Gap 107
  • 7 - Deflated Citizenship 109
  • 8 - Globalized Social Reproduction 131
  • 9 - Children Across Borders 153
  • V - Reconstructing Citizenship 175
  • 10 - Citizenship and Globalism 177
  • 11 - The Repositioning of Citizenship 191
  • 12 - Conclusion: Globalizing Citizenship? 209
  • Bibliography 217
  • Index 239
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