Reviewed
Reviewer Paul_Stubbs | Review

#471 "You no longer say patrón!": Contesting Discriminatory Language Ideologies through Household Workers' Rights Activism in Bueno Aires, Argentina


Coresponding author's contact details

First name Maria Lis Middle name Last name Baiocchi
Title Dr Organization / Institution University of Pittsburgh Department Anthropology
Address 3302 WWPH Postal / Zip code 15260 Country US
E-Mail Hidden Phone number Hidden Presenting author Yes

Co-authors (0)

No Co-authors found.

Abstract

Abstract title

"You no longer say patrón!": Contesting Discriminatory Language Ideologies through Household Workers' Rights Activism in Bueno Aires, Argentina

Abstract text

In 2013, Argentina joined a minority of countries in recognizing equal labor rights for household workers. On the one hand, these changes at the level of labor law and policy transformed the juridical status of household workers from "servants," with almost nonexistent labor rights, to "workers" with equal labor rights under the law. On the other, they introduced a discourse and practice of contract law to regulate social relationships between household workers and employers that had been historically regulated through economies of reciprocity and structures of pseudo-kinship, entrenching cultures of patronage and servitude. In this way, the changes at the level of labor law and policy introduced new meanings to conceive of household work, household workers, and employers of household workers. These new meanings are reflected in the language used by household workers' rights activists to talk about household work, household workers, and employers of household workers. This paper analyzes these linguistic practices of household workers' rights activists used to advance household workers' labor rights. I argue that these linguistic practices consist of counter-hegemonic linguistic and semiotic practices that have the aim of changing the hegemonic meanings historically abscribed to paid household work. In this way, they have the aim of transforming juridical changes into actual sociocultural changes that would valorize both household workers and household work. The paper is based on over two years of ethnographic research conducted in Buenos Aires between 2016 and 2018 with a household workers' rights grassroots organization.

Conference topic

Panel no. 21 - An Anthropology of Policy: Legacies and Future Challenges

Preferred format

Oral

Abstract Review

This abstract was reviewed on 2021-01-13 11:02h by Paul_Stubbs

Reviewer decision

Accepted