chapter  1
10 Pages

Introduction: Migrant Domestic Workers in Europe

ByHelma Lutz

This chapter focuses on the working experience of Albanian domestic workers and attempts to analyze the role of gender, class and race hierarchies in the production of their subjectivity. It explores the experience of domestic service in the context of the Mediterranean welfare regime and its lack of provisions for children and elderly people. The chapter analyzes the continuities and discontinuities in domestic service between the present and the twentieth century both in terms of the structure of employment and in attitudes towards service. Family migration and family budgets enable Albanian women to move to day work or for the younger generation to improve their skills. The racialization of Albanian employees is produced not only in the relationship between employer and employee but also between employees. In Greece, especially between 1990 and 1998 but also to a large extent afterwards, the carceral system has been elevated to the main machine of 'race making'.