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Intersecting Oppressions of Migrant Domestic Workers: (In)Securities of Female Migration to Lebanon
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Studies.
2020 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This Master’s thesis explores the intersection of powers that create (in)secure female migration to Lebanon. It contributes to a growing literature corpus about the lives of women, originating from South/ South-East Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, who migrate to Lebanon to work in the domestic work sector. Ongoing exploitations of migrant domestic workers (MDWs) under Lebanon’s migration regime, the kafala system, have been documented in detail. Yet, the question about which overlapping powers actually shape the migratory experience of MDWs calls for closer inspection – especially in light of previous unidirectional analyses that seem to obscure the intersectional experiences of migrant women. By uncovering intersecting systems of domination and subordination, this analysis aims to deconstruct oppressive powers and to answer the research question about which powers create (in)secure female migration to Lebanon. This objective is approached through ethnographic-qualitative methods of semi-structured interviewing and participant observation during a seven-week field research in Lebanon. Data contributed by research participants, i.e. MDWs themselves and individuals that have experience in supporting them, are analyzed through an intersectional lens that acknowledges the multifacetedness of MDWs as social beings comprised of overlapping and intersecting dynamic facets. This analysis argues for multiple levels and layers that create an enmeshed web of interacting categories, processes and systems that render female migration insecure. Detected underlying powers range from global forces over specific migration regulations to societal structures that are based on sexism, racism, cultural othering and class differences - amongst others. These forces are impossible to deconstruct in isolation because they function through each other. Their multilevel intersections lead to power imbalances between worker and employer, isolation and invisibility of the former on several levels as well as the commodification, dehumanization and mobility limitations of MDWs. Yet, female labor migrants counter these intersecting powers through creative and dynamic acts of resistance and self-empowerment and, thus, prove that the dismantling of overlapping oppressions calls for intersecting multilevel deconstructions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2020.
Keywords [en]
Gendered Migration; Migrant Domestic Workers; Intersectionality; Lebanon
National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-91402OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-91402DiVA, id: diva2:1389271
Subject / course
Peace and development
Educational program
Peace and Development Work, Master Programme, 60 credits
Supervisors
Examiners
Available from: 2020-01-30 Created: 2020-01-29 Last updated: 2020-01-30Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
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Language
  • de-DE
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  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
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