Recreating "domestic service": Institutional cultures and the evolution of paid household work

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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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-27
Number of pages27
JournalFeminist Economics
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1997
Externally publishedYes


  • Culture
  • Domestic service
  • Institutions
  • Labor market segmentation
  • Labor process
  • Service workers


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