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Care Work in China—In and Beyond the Informal Economy (中国家庭护理工作的现状及其对非正规经济的启示)

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image of Rural China

China’s expanding workforce of rural–urban migrants is increasingly involved in care work while simultaneously facing issues of care within its own ranks for its family members. The work examined here concerns care—for the elderly and ill, for children, and in everyday domestic labor. This form of work is widely performed predominantly by migrant women in (usually) urban households in circumstances lacking labor protections. They are performing work that creates value and that constitutes a key service sector of the informal economy. Much the same population provides similar care work for family members of their own (usually) in the countryside, work that also creates value but is normally unremunerated. Rural migrant and potential migrant women may be in complex social positions where their work is needed in both circumstances, and are in both circumstances providing value for their families—through income earned and through work of direct use value. The work in both instances is socially structured through being in or outside the informal economy and in or outside ties of kinship. This article argues for an expanded and adequately gendered concept of the informal economy based on value and Maussian concepts of human economy.中国日益增加着由乡村进入城市的大量投入到保姆工作中的劳动力,与其同时也面临着她们对其自身家庭成员的照料问题。本文关切的是家庭护理问题,这里指的是对老人,病患,孩子的照料,以及日常家务劳动。这种工作主要是由农村妇女来到通常是城市的家庭中,在缺少正规劳动保护的环境中工作。她们劳动创造的价值构成了非正规经济服务职能中的一个核心部分。这群打工族大多来自农村,并在其自身家庭中承担着同样的照料工作。然而这种同样创造着价值的工作一般并没有得到补偿。来自乡村的打工族及潜在的妇女民工可能处于一种复杂的社会地位中,她们的工作在这两种社会环境中都迫切需要,并都为她们的家庭或通过所挣工资,或通过直接使用其劳动创造着价值。这两种工作情况——在非正规经济之中或其外,以及在亲属关系之中或其外,都是社会构成的。本文提出一种基于价值观与人类学马塞尔莫斯学派的人性经济概念, 并进一步将其扩展并充分性别化的非正规经济。 (This article is in English.)

Affiliations: 1: Department of Anthropology, University of Manitoba, Canada, Ellen.Judd@umanitoba.ca

10.1163/22136746-01401003
/content/journals/10.1163/22136746-01401003
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2017-03-31
2017-11-19

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