Foreign Domestic Worker Policy in Canada and the Social Boundaries of Modern Citizenship

Science and Society 58 (1):7 - 33 (1994)
The social boundaries of citizenship involve relations of exclusion and inclusion within the global economy and specific nation-states. A case study of contemporary Canadian federal policy regarding the recruitment and regulation of foreign domestic workers reveals that, despite postwar trends toward liberalization of immigration policy and general advances made by Canadian workers, citizenship rights for third-world female domestics have declined. This apparently "anomalous" non-citizenship status can be better understood through an examination of the social relations and discourses that reproduce conditions of bonded servitude for foreign domestics. It is argued that citizenship must be understood as a variable and unequal process shaped by global realities, state intervention, and racialized, gendered discourses.
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