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Working and dwelling in a global city: going-out, public worlds, and the intimate lives of migrant domestic workers in Hong Kong

Chan, HH-Y; Latham, A; (2021) Working and dwelling in a global city: going-out, public worlds, and the intimate lives of migrant domestic workers in Hong Kong. Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies 10.1080/1369183X.2021.2000854. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

This paper examines the public routines through which migrant domestic workers inhabit a global city such as Hong Kong. Using ‘public outings’ as a conceptual entry point to understanding migrants’ mobile geographies of dwelling, it seeks to present such migrants as ordinary urban actors who inhabit, share and shape the city landscape every day just like many others. Whilst disciplined by their employers in all sorts of ways, domestic workers nonetheless use the public and quasi-public spaces within their neighbourhoods – spaces integral to their work routines – as sites for forging a precarious autonomy. Drawing on a short ethnography – using participant diaries, interviews, and participant observation – of live-in migrant domestic workers in Hong Kong, the paper describes how migrants use a range of neighbourhood spaces to create an improvised infrastructure of care that helps creates a sense of domesticity and home.

Type: Article
Title: Working and dwelling in a global city: going-out, public worlds, and the intimate lives of migrant domestic workers in Hong Kong
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/1369183X.2021.2000854
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1080/1369183X.2021.2000854
Language: English
Additional information: Copyright © 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/), which permits non-commercial re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, and is not altered, transformed, or built upon in any way.
Keywords: Transnationalism, public space, Hong Kong, domestic workers, diary interviews
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of S&HS > Dept of Geography
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10140763
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