Vivo nell'ombra. Oppressione intersezionale delle care-givers straniere in un contesto italiano


Domestic and carer work can bring about intersectional oppression of women, with detrimental effects on their health. This is the case of foreign caregivers who willingly undertake carer work in the transnational labour market and even though regulated by law, marginalizes the worker involved. This article offers the results of ethnographic research conducted in a central-southern Italian province and highlights conditions of the structural suffering of women who experience regret, unease, depression, and guilt somatization – the so-called "Italy syndrome" – especially when it is time to return home. Some even decide not to go back to their homeland and families, lingering in the transitory condition that had been an initial plan. Like many migrant workers, these caregivers make short-term life projects that aim to bring advances for them, their families, and the families of their charges, but in the long term prove to be distressing on a psychological, relational, and environmental level. This analysis of the situations of oppression and subjugation - but also situations of resistance - highlights the daily reproduction of systems of power, which are experienced, embodied and reproduced by social actors.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i22804250v13i1p75

Keywords: ethnography; caregiving; women; migration; oppression

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