Working and dwelling in a global city: going-out, public worlds, and the intimate lives of migrant domestic workers in Hong Kong
This paper examines the public routines through which migrant domestic workers inhabit a global city such as Hong Kong. Using ‘public outings’ as a conceptual entry point to understanding migrants’ mobile geographies of dwelling, it seeks to present such migrants as ordinary urban actors who inhabit, share and shape the city landscape every day just like many others. Whilst disciplined by their employers in all sorts of ways, domestic workers nonetheless use the public and quasi-public spaces within their neighbourhoods – spaces integral to their work routines – as sites for forging a precarious autonomy. Drawing on a short ethnography – using participant diaries, interviews, and participant observation – of live-in migrant domestic workers in Hong Kong, the paper describes how migrants use a range of neighbourhood spaces to create an improvised infrastructure of care that helps creates a sense of domesticity and home.
1 Jan 2021 – 31 Dec 2021
Journal title, volume/issue number, page range
Journal of Ethnic and Migration Studies
Urban / Rural
Diasporas and Migration