Haymarket Books
Books for changing the world
Disposable Domestics
Immigrant Women Workers in the Global Economy
Analyzes recent immigration debates targeting women of color and challenges the racism behind the rhetoric.

Illegal. Unamerican. Disposable. In a nation with an unprecedented history of immigration, the prevailing image of those who cross our borders in search of equal opportunity is that of a drain. Grace Chang's vital account of immigrant women—who work as nannies, domestic workers, janitors, nursing aides, and homecare workers—proves just the opposite: the women who perform our least desirable jobs are the most crucial to our economy and society. Disposable Domestics highlights the unrewarded work immigrant women perform as caregivers, cleaners, and servers and shows how these women are actively resisting the exploitation they face.

  • "Since Grace Chang's Disposable Domestics was first published fifteen years ago, it has not only become a major classic in feminist studies, but has helped to make transnational analyses of reproductive labor central to our understanding of race and gender in the twenty-first century."
    —Angela Y. Davis

    “Grace Chang’s Disposable Domestics is as timely and relevant now as it was when it was first written. As debates rage over ‘immigration reform,’ Chang exposes the outlandish myth that corporate interests, big agriculture, and liberal Democrats represent enlightened voices standing against mass deportation and xenophobia. Instead she reveals a long history of collusion between the U.S. government, the IMF and World Bank, corporations, and private employers to create and maintain a super-exploited, low-wage, female labor force of caregivers and cleaners. Structural adjustment policies force them to leave home; labor, welfare, and educational policies deny them basic benefits and protections; employers deny them a living wage. But as Chang also shows us, the forces of racism, misogyny, and neoliberalism have never succeeded in denying these women dignity, personhood, or power. A decade and a half later, they are still here and still fighting for the workers of the world.”
    —Robin D. G. Kelley, Distinguished Professor of History and Gary B. Nash Endowed Chair in United States History, UCLA

    "[Disposable Domestics] offers a much-needed understanding of the multifaceted linkage between global and local issues in today's world."
    —Elizabeth Martínez

    "Grace Chang’s nuanced analysis of our immigration policy and the devastating consequences of global capitalism captures the experiences of poor immigrant women of color. Disposable Domestics reveals how these women, servicing the economy as domestics, nannies, maids, and janitors, are vilified by politicians and the media."
    —Mary Romero, author of the The Maid's Daughter: Living Inside and Outside the American Dream

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