chapter  4
18 Pages

When Home Becomes a Workplace: Domestic Work as an Ordinary Job in Germany?

ByHelma Lutz

This chapter presents what impact the 'present absence' of migrant domestic workers has on household organization in their countries of origin. It argues that it is important to refer to the household as a transnational unit. The chapter arguments will be developed by looking at the nexus of household maintenance strategies and transnational migration in the case of Ukrainian women working in the domestic service sector in Austria. It elaborates why the household is at the centre of my research. The chapter shows how concepts of household organization can be entangled with concepts of transnational fields and practices. It argues that the decision to migrate can be seen as a household maintenance strategy with the aim of upholding or improving the economic and social status of the household. Western Ukraine continues to show a relatively high incidence of poverty. The Ministry of Labour and Social Policy reported that in 2004 the number of unemployed Ukrainians have exceeded 3 million people.