Maids to Order in Hong Kong: Stories of Migrant Workers by Nicole Constable
Nicole Constable, in Maid to Order in Hong Kong: Stories of Migrant Workers describes the physical and psychological lives of those domestic workers in the homes of Chinese in Hong Kong, their attitude towards their own lives and work, and the attitudes of the workers and the Chinese toward one another. Constable’s primary purpose, from a scholarly perspective, is to document the particulars of the lives of these women for others interested in labor relations, cross-cultural attitudes, class differences, and the role of the state in regulating foreign workers. This anthropological and historical study of the lives of Filipino domestic workers in Hong Kong is based on many sources of data. Constable visited organizations that advocate foreign workers, met with staff of some employment agencies, talked to government officials and above all, she led many interviews and conversations with maids. As a support to the oral histories and observations she gathered a lot of archival documents: scientific and popular literature, newspapers, articles, editorials, newsletters and papers. As Constable announces “the first three chapters of this book provide theoretical and historical background and place Filipino domestic workers within the context of wider political economy”. This part of the book presents the reader with an excellent use of the archival data. In the sub-chapter “The Battle of Chatter Road (3-8),” which itself is a good example of discourse analysis, the Author shows how xenophobia, racial and cultural prejudices are supported by media and local establishment because of demographic and economic changes. Next pages inform the reader about the main reason of Filipino migrations to the Hong Kong and how particular local, cultural and historical factors have influenced attitudes toward Filipino domestic workers and their treatment in Hong Kong today. What I found...
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