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Recreating ''Domestic Service'': Institutional Cultures and the Evolution of Paid Household Work


  • Gabrielle Meagher


This paper contributes an Australian perspective to writing on paid household work in feminist social science. It explores how some Australian domestic service providers are recreating ''domestic service'' with institutional and cultural strategies to overcome the stigma associated with this occupation. These developments are analyzed through three case studies of new models of domestic service provision. It concludes that several factors, including gendered ideologies of professionalism and skill, costs of entry and exit, and the structure of demand interact to segment the market for domestic services by gender and ethnicity. The analysis contributes to understanding of the labor process of waged domestic labor, and of relationships between skill, organizational structure and labor market segmentation.

Suggested Citation

  • Gabrielle Meagher, 1997. "Recreating ''Domestic Service'': Institutional Cultures and the Evolution of Paid Household Work," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 3(2), pages 1-27.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:femeco:v:3:y:1997:i:2:p:1-27
    DOI: 10.1080/135457097338681

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Jon Altman & Anne Daly, 1995. "Indigenous Australians In The Labour Market: Historical Trends And Future Prospects," Economic Papers, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 14(4), pages 64-73, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Luis Eduardo Arango y Carlos Esteban Posada, 2004. "Determinantes de la probabilidad de tener servicio doméstico en Colombia," Econometric Society 2004 Latin American Meetings 48, Econometric Society.
    2. Michael Kevane & Leslie Gray, 1999. "A Woman's Field Is Made At Night: Gendered Land Rights And Norms In Burkina Faso," Feminist Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 5(3), pages 1-26.


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