Experiences of Nepali Women within Pan-Ethnic Informal Labor Markets in Boston and New York
This chapter examines how contemporary globalization has created gendered labor by drawing on the experiences of Nepali immigrant women within pan-ethnic informal labor markets in Boston and New York City. After a brief overview of the existing theoretical framework, the chapter presents data on Nepali women's experiences in the informal economy. It shows how the economic opportunities available to these women are shaped by within-ethnic-group social location—Nepali Americans' social location in relation to wealthier Indian Americans (and their religious and linguistic similarity to this group). It also considers how some Nepali women, especially those who worked in the formal sector in Nepal, have begun to “bank” their social capital in their home countries. The Nepali women's experiences highlight the segmentation of the informal labor market for care work and suggest that, while they send remittances back to their home countries, some of this money is sent to nonfamily members.
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