by Rachel Randall
University of Texas Press, 2023
Cloth: 978-1-4773-2770-8 | eISBN: 978-1-4773-2772-2
Library of Congress Classification HD8039.D52L388 2023
Dewey Decimal Classification 305.562098


An insight into the struggles of paid domestic workers in Latin America through an exploration of films, texts, and digital media produced since the 1980s in collaboration with them or inspired by their experiences.

Paid domestic work in Latin America is often undervalued, underpaid, and underregulated. Exploring a wave of Latin American cultural texts since the 1980s that draw on the personal experiences of paid domestic work or intimate ties to domestic employees, Paid to Care offers insights into the struggles domestic workers face through an analysis of literary testimonials, documentary and fiction films, and works of digital media.

From domestic workers’ experiences of unionization in the 1980s to calls for their rights to be respected today, the cultural texts analyzed in Paid to Care provide additional insight into public debates about paid domestic work. Rachel Randall examines work made in Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Mexico, Peru, and Uruguay. The most recent of these texts respond to the Covid-19 pandemic, which put many domestic workers’ health and livelihoods at risk. Engaging with the legal histories of domestic work in multiple distinct national contexts, Randall demonstrates how the legacy of colonialism and slavery shapes the profession even today. Focusing on personal or coproduced cultural representations of domestic workers, Paid to Care explores complex ethical issues relating to consent, mediation, and appropriation.