The various ways in which domestic service, home care and nursing are structured and performed are well accounted in Global Exchange by Grace Chang and Diverted Mothering by Sau-Ling C. Wong. These two articles give indeapth analysis of how migrant and immigrant workers are treated by not only their employers but in certain instances by their own government. I will try to give you an analysis of the two articles and sight examples from the articles that reflect how these workers are treated in the domestic, home care, and the nursing industry.
First in Global Exchage we see that more and more people and mostly women from 3rd world countries are leaving their families to go and work abroad for menial wages in the hopes of a better life for children and families. The article deals with the Filipina women and how they have and are brought into the country and how they are treated. I was very surprised to read that the president of the Philippines himself stating that “migrant women the new heroes of the Philippine economy” .
The even more surprising thing is that the government itself has more women working outside the country than it does within the country. This is evident all over the health and home care industry, if you walk into any hospital you can see the amount of Filippina women wokig as nurses and in other health care professions. Also these women are working as nannies and home care givers to the families of middle-class and upper-class people. The wages that these women get are soo absurd that any person living in the country would never ever work for those wages and if they did, the law would do everything to protect that person.
The migrants are afforded the same rights and therefore are paid low wages, the conditions that they live in are mediocre. But will the employers ever say that the wages should be raised or the conditions made better? We all know that if this was a Citizen treated in the same manner, things would be very different.
In all countries Fillippina women are imported with the Philippine government benefiting from the money the women send back home. The government you can is gathering women and sending them out on contracts to other countries to work, but they fail to protect the women when it is necessary or provide any kind of care. It seems to me that once they are receiving money not only from the migrant workers, but the host country, they forget about the women and start to recruit now women. The case of Sarah Balabagan is the perfect example of the govt. forgetting about its citizen that it sent out to work for them. Sarah was raped by knifepoint by her employer, she stabbed her employer and then was jailed for murder. The first trial she was sentenced to 7 years in Jail.
This case outraged women everywhere espically the migrant Filippina women who protested and blamed it’s own govt. for not doing anything to protect it’s citizen. The 2nd trial led to a sentence of death for Sarah and again brought about more and more protest. After protests the sentence was finally revised to a 100 lashes and to pay restatution to the murdered man’s family. From this article I can see that the Philippines govt. looks at its women as a cash cow to send out to other countries and reap the benefits from the money they send back as well the good relations it builds with the host country. The host country benefits from cheap labor and not having to provide any kind of health care or other benefits that it’s citizens get.
In Diverted Mothering the people are different yet the work is the same. The role of the, caregiver is taken on by minorities males and females. The males and females featured in the article are Afro-American, and Chinese. The stories featured here are all that most of us have seen on the Big Screen and how can relate with. The old chauffeur, the con artist medium, the tow-truck driver. These people are substituting for the parent’s not being around for their children. Some of the people are there more for the employers children rather than their own. We seldom hear of theor families and of their lives outside work.
The employers are too busy working and chasing the all mighty dollar that they forget that they have a famaliy. The caregivers are seen as protectors, sympthyizers, and helpers. They are expected to be there for the employers at all times. Even when a member of the family is forgotten, the caregivers never forget them and help them in everyway. We see an example of this in the movie “Driving Miss Daisy” here the chauffeur has been with the employer for 30 years, but she knows nothing about his life of his family. In the end we see that she tells him that she never knew that he had a daughter or a granddaughter. This shows us that the no matter how long you may work for someone you will never be a real part of the family.
You are there for the employer to help them as needed. Even after all this the chauffeur goes to see his employer when her own son has put her in a rest home and then spoon feeds her. She is pretty much forgotten about by her real family. This also goes to show that the caregivers are not only there for monetary gain, but take a real interest in the lives of their rmployers. In Diverted Mothering the focus is on the male gender as being the caregiver rather than a female.
Although caregivers are almost always seen as women, in this article we see that in almost every story the male character is acting like a mother and taking care of others however it is necessary. Take the example of Mack going to Simon to discuss his emotional problems and Simon takes time out of his job to help his new friend work through his feelings. If the situation was reversed, how many of us think that Mack would take time out of his job to help Simon? Simon being a tow-truck driver is shown as that his time is not as important as Mack’s is and Mack can call on him at anytime.
In both Diverted Mothering and Global Exchange we see that minorities are shown to be there to help and take care of white employers and be at there beck and call. Although in Diverted Mothering the stories are set in different times, they all follow the same theme. This theme being of whites being in charge or needing help and the minorties providing the help and being employed by the whites. The structure in both articles seems to be that minorities and people from the 3rd world are here to take care of not only the houses of the 1st world countries but also their families and be there whenever needed.
Does class, race, and gender play a part in determinig who will perform the above mentioned duties for peoples homes and taking care of their children? After reading these articles I can see how all three play a part in shaping a person. Class first of all can inhibit a person in more ways than anything. Being of lower class in some countries does nto even qualify you to attend school or work in some areas. So when there are limitataion on what you can do and without an education, you are setup to fail no matter how you try to reach a higher class.
Also if you do not have an education, you are not able to get a job that will allow you to move up and have a better life, therefore you are in some ways going to have to follow in the steps of your parents, whatever those steps maybe. I believe this is what leads to a lot of crime in the world, if we had no classes to put people into, they would have all the opportunities available to them and be able to decide for themselves on what course thier lives should take.
Race can hinder your growth not only financially but also lead to emotional conflicts and cause life threatening situations. Race can become a problem for a person even if he/she is qualified in every way to perform a job. I am sure we all have been or know someone who has experienced this in someway. Race can limit your advancement in almost every field and every aspect of your life. Race again in some countries can pre-determine what you will be when you grow up. It can keep you from opportunities that are wide open, but because of your race you may not be able to take advantage of them.
Gender can shape you as well as Class and Race. Gender more than anything can hinder you and set a course for your life. It can do this because regardless or Class or Race depending on the gender you belong to, you are either high or low on the todem pole. If you look at women as far back as you want to, you can see how they were and are still limited today.
Especially women in some countries are the first to be taken out of school and put to work as the son is seen more important even though the girl may be the smarter of the two. Women are looked at as the caregivers, the soft-hearted and the ones that comfort us and wipe our tears. In the same sense, they are not looked at as the bread-winners or the strong, protecters and supporters of families. All three (class, race, and gender) hinder people in one way or another, but if you are a female and a minority and of a lower class, the course of your life is very limited and what you want to do with your life and what you are able to do are two very different things.
The ideal family. How does one define an ideal family and who can decide whether one family or another is better? From the articles I have read it is very hard to say if the conditions of domestic and home-care service disrupt the model of the ideal family. What I believe is that in some ways it can hurt and also in many ways help the family to have someone there to take care of the kids and take care of the house. But we much remember that the caregiver is not the mother or father. The parents cannot let the caregiver be the only one to be involved with the kids and they must take an active part in their clildren lives.
The caregivers being in the family allows the parents to be able to spend more time with the clildren rather than woeking and then coming home and doing house work. It hurts when the parents leave the children in the care of the caregiver and assume that the child is well and happy. Of all the love that a child may get from a caregiver, it can never be the same love that he/she will get from the parent. Over all I think that if you can afford to have domestic and home-care services to help you, you should take advantage of it. But you should also remember that with this help, you time should be spent with the family and not forgetting that the caregiver is there to help your burden and not there to do everything that you are suppose to do.
These articles make anyone that reads them take a look at the roles we all have in this world a little differently, I know it made me think about the people that clean the offices and the maids people have and how they may be treated. After reading these articles it can be seen what kind of plight the people in these stories go through for the betterment of their children and their families, and also what kind of hardship they put themselves through to achive their goals.