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Social reproduction as unregulated work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article


Journal publication date03/2009
JournalWork, Employment and Society
Number of pages18
Original languageEnglish


In this article, two cases of paid social reproductive labour performed in the home in New York City are examined: subsidized child care and paid domestic work. Particular attention is paid to the organization of the industries and the experiences of employees in those worksites. It is demonstrated that there continues to be a persistent and wilful exclusion of this work from regulation, as well as systematic violations of those regulations which do govern the work, constituting what the authors term 'unregulated work'. It should be noted that the workers paid by the government are not exempt from this finding, but fit very clearly into this larger pattern. This illustrates the problems which arise from the process of transforming domestic spaces, and communities more broadly, into spaces of wage labour in American cities. It further serves as a powerful red assertion of the denial of the value of 'women's work'.