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The Entrapment of Migrant Workers in Servile Labour: The Case of Live-in Domestic Workers from Ukraine in Greece

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Nikos Xypolitas
Nikos Xypolitas


The article presents an effort to analyze the entrapment of migrant domestic workers in their low-status jobs. This will be done by looking at the consequences of live-in domestic work on migrant women from Ukraine working as servants in Athens. The study utilizes a Marxo-Weberian framework that focuses on both working conditions and perceptions of migrant workers. It is argued that the emotional demands of domestic work result in migrants perceiving their tasks as an extension of familial relationships and obligations. These employment relationships are defined as ‘pseudo-familial’ and form the basis of deference in domestic work. Combined with the structural barriers in the labour market, deference represents the subjective element of the entrapment of migrants in their job.


Servitude, deference, livein domestic work, migration, familial relationships

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