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Immigrant Women Workers in the Neoliberal Age$
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Nilda Flores-Gonzalez, Anna Romina Guevarra, and Maura Toro-Morn

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780252037573

Published to Illinois Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.5406/illinois/9780252037573.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM ILLINOIS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Illinois University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ISO for personal use (for details see www.illinois.universitypressscholarship.com/page/privacy-policy).date: 22 October 2018

Paradoxes of Patriarchy

Paradoxes of Patriarchy

Contradicting Experiences of South Asian Women in Ethnic Labor Markets

(p.96) 5 Paradoxes of Patriarchy
Immigrant Women Workers in the Neoliberal Age

Pallavi Banerjee

University of Illinois Press

This chapter examines the paradoxes of patriarchy by drawing on the experiences of South Asian immigrant women in ethnic labor markets. Most South Asian women who work in the South Asian labor market in the United States are engaged in low-wage work within the ethnic labor market, employed by male-owned businesses and with little separation between the private and public spheres. The women and their families often live in same ethnic enclaves where they work. This chapter considers whether South Asian immigrant women's entry into a structurally stratified ethnic labor market creates a paradox in their lives. More specifically, it explores whether employment increases the women's bargaining power within the household and whether the close proximity between work and home facilitates working longer hours for little pay. The chapter reveals the paradoxes of immigration and gendered labor in ethnic enclaves. While the ethnic markets' familial/patrilineal structure creates social capital and a safe space for the South Asian women, it also makes them vulnerable to exploitation in terms of reduced wages and increased work hours.

Keywords:   patriarchy, South Asian immigrant women, ethnic labor markets, low-wage work, ethnic enclaves, bargaining power, immigration, gendered labor, social capital, exploitation

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