The Private Face of Privatization

Andrea Muehlebach

in The Moral Neoliberal

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780226545394
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226545417 | DOI:
The Private Face of Privatization

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This chapter explores the migrant–volunteer “labor encounter” in order to explore the domestic sphere as a space fraught with a set of distinctions that volunteers make between their own labor and that of migrants; distinctions which allow for migrant labor to serve as a catalyst for the appearance of ethical citizenship. For even as immigrant caretakers can sometimes appear as virtuous figures in public cultural debate, especially when proimmigrant groups represent these women as a last bulwark against the total abandonment of the country's old, many Italians still devalue the labor these women perform. The chapter tracks the problem of everyday care, so seemingly banal in its quotidian nature, to show how volunteers categorically distinguish between different kinds of value and personhood—that is to say, between different kinds of intention, desire, and will.

Keywords: privatization; migrant labor; ethical citizenship; everyday care; proimmigrant groups; migrant–volunteer encounter

Chapter.  12245 words. 

Subjects: Population and Demography

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