Paradoxes of citizenship and migrant domestic workers, the case of feminine migration in Italy
Political Science and CPDS Centre sur les politiques et le développement social University of Montreal, Canada Montréal, Canada
Over the last few years "new immigrant countries" such as Italy has seen an increase in feminine transnational migration. Women come for domestic and social care work, because it provides a work permit and legal status for many undocumented women. This phenomena leads to the emergence of a political and social problem: "who cares of our elderly?". Responses differ from case to case and region to region in Europe, which can be correlated to different mechanisms of inclusion/exclusion of certain people and to the achievement of immigrant social citizenship. The study of "the ethic of care" highlights the substitution of native-emancipated-woman by the immigrant-domestic-worker in order to maintain the traditional "household model". Italian families seem to "import femininity" for preserving the traditional system of gender relations. This paper highlights differences of citizenship between the native-emancipated woman involved in their emancipation and decommodifying process through their "exit out of domestic sphere" and the immigrant-domestic-woman who fills the "low side" of female traditional figure in the domestic sphere. The paper proposes the case of immigrant domestic workers in Italy as an example of emergence of new social risk categories that leads to a paradox of citizenship in the access, participation and incorporation of social programs.