The Regulation of the South-North Transfer of Reproductive Labor: Filipino Women in Spain and the United States
Ezquerra, Sandra, 1976-
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Ezquerra, Sandra, 1976-
This dissertation examines the experiences of Filipina migrant domestic and care workers and the role of the state in the Global South-Global North transfer of reproductive labor. On the one hand, Western countries currently face a "care void" resulting from women's entry in the workforce, aging populations, and limited state support, among other factors. On the other hand, countries in the Global South have gone through decades of economic restructuring. This has resulted in the perpetuation of economic crisis, high unemployment rates, and massive out-migration. In the past two decades, these migration flows have become increasingly feminized. Women from the South move to semi-industrialized and industrialized countries and take jobs as domestic and care workers. Given this scenario, the overall question that guides my analysis is, how do states regulate the South-North transfer of reproductive labor? Particularly, how do the Philippine, Spanish, and U.S. governments shape this transfer through their migration and labor laws? How do Spain and the United States regulate the immigration and reproductive labor of Filipino women? And how do these two receiving countries of reproductive labor, resemble or differ from each other in all these tasks? My goal is to contribute to a growing scholarship that studies government regulation of female migration. I do this by examining Filipinas' out-migration, their arrival in the United States and Spain, and their labor as care givers and domestic workers in the San Francisco Bay Area and Barcelona. Although work on the intersection of gender and the state is growing, there is a need to further analyze the gender factors, components, and consequences of the regulation of migrant labor in the Philippines, the United States and Spain. The methods I use in this study include in-depth interviews with Filipino women, government employees and officials, and representatives from migrant workers' organizations, among other subjects, in the three countries. I also conduct participant observation in the three research sites and analyze multiple documents such as legislation, newspaper articles, and migrant workers' organizations newsletters.