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Crossing Boundaries: The Ethics of the Pubic/Private Divide in Migrant Domestic Work in Europe
Linköping University, Department of Culture and Communication, Centre for Applied Ethics. Linköping University.
2009 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]


The central objective of this thesis is to demonstrate how the concept—or concepts—of the public/private divide actively shapes the conditions of migrant domestic work in Europe. In doing so, I aim to show how European states’ current treatment of migrant domestic work is ethically problematic, and that a sufficient moral response to this dilemma entails a re-evaluation of any operative notions of the public/private distinction.

The premise of my thesis is that migrants working as domestics suffer human rights abuses due to two distinct but inseparable factors: their gender-based mode of employment and their legal status. I will make the claim that states fail to prevent these abuses, and secure the conditions necessary for the fulfillment of migrants’ human rights, because they assume a morally problematic understanding of the public/private distinction. 

In arguing for a re-evaluation of the public/private sphere, I will likewise propose that certain revisions be accordingly made in several levels and domains of legislation—regional and national, as well as labor and immigration. Less concrete, though no less important, is my contention that receiving and sending countries alike need to undertake a more profound re-examination of the moral status of domestic work, and, more fundamentally, care work itself. 


Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2009. , 75 p.
Keyword [en]
ethics, feminism, migration, domestic work, public and private
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-19155ISRN: LIU-CTE-AE-EX--09/03--SEOAI: diva2:223457
Available from: 2009-06-23 Created: 2009-06-12 Last updated: 2009-06-23Bibliographically approved

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de Dios, Anjeline Eloisa J.
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Centre for Applied EthicsLinköping University

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