Outsourced Reproductive Labor : Deconstructing Local and Global Structures
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The National Community Survey, a portion of the 2010 Census, found that the number of nannies, housecleaners, and caregivers working in private households and directly paid by their employers was 726,437 and had been increasing since 2004. Since domestic work is a part of the informal sector as it is not accounted for in many labor laws and takes place inside the home, the reported number of workers is mostly likely lower than the actual. Domestic work is a subsection of the main concept discussed in this paper; reproductive labor. The author defines reproductive labor as the actions and emotions performed by women that are necessary to sustain a household and facilitate growth in the family. Not only do mothers perform reproductive labor for their families, but when economically able, they hire outsourced care from someone, in many cases transnational women, to fill in where they cannot provide. This phenomenon shows that normative family in the United States exists inside fragile boundaries constructed out of a false sense of privacy and exclusivity. The intention of this paper is to integrate current literature dealing with outsourced reproductive labor and globalization in an innovative way in order to provide additional recommendations about how to improve the working conditions and overall quality of life for women all over the world who work as reproductive laborers.