There has been a tendency amongst feminists to see domestic work as the great leveller, a common burden imposed on all women equally by patriarchy. This study of migrant domestic workers in the North uncovers some uncomfortable facts about the race and class aspects of domestic oppression. Based on original research, it looks at the racialization of paid domestic labour in the North - a phenomenon which challenges feminism and political theory at a fundamental level. The author maps the employment patterns of migrant women in domestic work in the North, and describes the work they perform, their living and working conditions and their employment relations. She looks at the feminization of the labour market - as middle class white women have greater presence in the public sphere, they are more likely to push responsibility for domestic work onto other women. In its depiction of the treatment of women from the South by women in the North, the book asks some difficult questions about the common bond of womanhood.
Bridget Jane Anderson is a research fellow in the sociology department at the University of Warwick.