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Cultural politics of emotions in households: migrant domestic workers in Macau
Shi, Wei

This article discusses the emotions and cultural politics within domestic work contexts involving employers and migrant domestic workers in Macau. Since Macau was transferred back to China from Portugal in 1999, the Macau SAR government has pursued a neoliberal economic policy that emphasizes economic growth. With a revitalized economy boosted by casino revenues, thousands of migrant workers have moved to Macau to take advantage of new employment opportunities. Based on first-hand interviews with migrant domestic workers and employers in Macau, this paper examines how emotions are motivated and articulated within the affective interactions between employers and Migrant Domestic Workers (MDWs). This includes how employers' emotions of fear and disgust towards MDWs contribute to the creation of an MDW population as a feared and inferior "other," and how such affective operations reinforces the existing hegemonic dominance of naming and legitimizing the exploitation of MDWs. Meanwhile, in the production of domesticity in the home, this paper explores how emotions such as emotional numbness and disgust experienced by the MDWs make affective negotiations and contestation possible, and generate disobedience and resistance to the disciplines and controls imposed upon them. This article also investigates how such emotions, acting as a kind of intervention, operate within the production of specific subjectivities and identities that MDWs want to claim for themselves.

KeywordMigrant Domestic Workers Emotion Cultural Politics Households Macau
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Indexed BySSCI
WOS Research AreaAnthropology ; Cultural Studies ; Asian Studies
WOS SubjectAnthropology ; Cultural Studies ; Asian Studies
WOS IDWOS:000423296000002
The Source to ArticleWOS
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Cited Times [WOS]:2   [WOS Record]     [Related Records in WOS]
Document TypeJournal article
Corresponding AuthorShi, Wei
AffiliationThe Department of Communication, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Macau, Taipa, Macao
First Author AffilicationFaculty of Social Sciences
Corresponding Author AffilicationFaculty of Social Sciences
Recommended Citation
GB/T 7714
Shi, Wei. Cultural politics of emotions in households: migrant domestic workers in Macau[J]. INTER-ASIA CULTURAL STUDIES,2017,18(4):464-481.
APA Shi, Wei.(2017).Cultural politics of emotions in households: migrant domestic workers in Macau.INTER-ASIA CULTURAL STUDIES,18(4),464-481.
MLA Shi, Wei."Cultural politics of emotions in households: migrant domestic workers in Macau".INTER-ASIA CULTURAL STUDIES 18.4(2017):464-481.
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