The New Maids

Transnational Women and the Care Economy

Helma Lutz


The author argues that domestic work plays the defining role in global ethnic and gender hierarchies.
The New Maids is a pioneering book, grounded on rich, empirical evidence, which examines the relationship between globalization, transnationalism, gender and the care economy.

Expertly addressing the thorny questions that surround the increasing number of migrant domestic workers and cleaners, child-carers and caregivers who maintain modern Western households, the author argues that domestic work plays the defining role in global ethnic and gender hierarchies.

Using a central ethnographic study of immigrant domestic workers and their German employees as its starting point, The New Maids uses the voices of such women themselves to provide unique conceptual and evidential support for this vital new approach argument. This exciting book will not only enhance the reader's understanding of the new care-economy, it also sets standards for feminist global methodology.

Author Bio

Helma Lutz is professor of women and gender studies in the Department of Social Sciences at Goethe University, Germany. She is an associate editor of the European Journal of Women's Studies.

Table of Contents

1. The New Division of Domestic Labour
2. The Household as a Global Market for Women's Labour
3. Domestic Work and Lifestyles: Methods and First Results
4. Domestic Work - A Perfectly Normal Job?
5. Exploitation or Alliance of Trust? Relationship Work in the Household
6. Transnational Motherhood
7. Being Illegal
8. Migrant Women in the Globalization Trap?


'Through compelling ethnographic portraits and astute theory, The New Maids takes us beyond narratives of exploitation or empowerment to capture mutual dependences, transnational motherhood, and intimate labor under shifting gender, migration, and welfare regimes.'
Eileen Boris, Hull Professor and Chair, Department of Feminist Studies, University of California, Santa Barbara

'With insight and conviction, Helma Lutz takes us inside the world of the foreign domestic work. This is an important book that should be read by policy makers and scholars alike.'
Rachel Salazar Parreñas, Professor of Sociology, University of Southern California

'The New Maids adds to our understanding of transnational women across the globe...Lutz once again raises scholarship on women, migration and work to a new level.'
Sonya Michel, Director of United States Studies, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Washington, DC, USA

'This is a major case study of intersectionality in action.'
Fiona Williams, Emeritus Professor of Social Policy, University of Leeds


Publication Date: 11 August 2011
256 pages

Product ISBNs: Paperback: 9781848132887
Hardback: 9781848132870
eBook ePub: 9781780322377
eBook PDF: 9781848132894
eBook Kindle: 9781780322384

Why is peer review so important?

Learn more about the various types of peer review, why it’s so important, what the social and political considerations of peer review are and how we use it at Zed Books.