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Written to be Erased: Paper Rights and the Visibility of Migrant Domestic Workers

Rima Sabban (Zayed University, UAE)
Hannah Kasak-Gliboff (2111 S. Montclair Ave., USA)

Gender Visibility and Erasure

ISBN: 978-1-80382-594-6, eISBN: 978-1-80382-593-9

Publication date: 15 August 2022


This chapter conceptualizes forms and processes of erasure and visibility of migrant domestic workers through the analysis of interview data, media coverage, and public policy. This chapter builds on the existing literature on foreign domestic labor by synthesizing a framework to better represent the mechanisms that produce instances of visibility and erasure; these include transnational forces of erasure like sexism, xenophobia, and domestic labor stigma that interact with country-specific policies and norms. Within this framework of visibility and erasure, we also delineate different aspects of each, such as spatial erasure, erasure in the media, and self-erasure. Finally, this chapter explores how each of these components interconnect into a system of erasure, each aspect enabling another aspect in dampening the individuality of migrant domestic workers. This chapter is intended to illuminate the realities of erasure with careful specificity, while still crediting domestic workers for their resilience and creativity in promoting their own visibility.



Sabban, R. and Kasak-Gliboff, H. (2022), "Written to be Erased: Paper Rights and the Visibility of Migrant Domestic Workers", Segal, M.T. and Demos, V. (Ed.) Gender Visibility and Erasure (Advances in Gender Research, Vol. 33), Emerald Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 109-125.



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