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Title:Maids and mistresses in Recife (Brazil): An analysis of linkages between the formal and informal economy
Author(s):Vergolino, Tercina Barbosa
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):van Es, Johannes C.
Department / Program:Sociology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Social Work
Women's Studies
Sociology, Industrial and Labor Relations
Abstract:In Brazil, domestic service absorbs a significant number of workers, mostly women. Not only do domestic servants represent a considerable contingent of the working women in Brazil, but they also make it easier for skilled females (their mistresses) to participate in the labor market, mostly in the formal sector of the economy.
The theoretical discussion in my study considers three main issues: (a) the applicability of the concept of "marginal pole" of the economy to the maids' case; (b) the importance of domestic servants in the lowering of the wages for middle and upper classes in Brazil; and (c) the influence of husbands' wages in women's decisions to work outside the house.
My study can be divided into two parts: in the first part, quantitative and qualitative data on domestic servants and their mistresses in the city of Recife (capital of the state of Pernambuco in Northeast Brazil), are gathered through a survey. This empirical part of the study has as its main objective to provide unbiased information on the characteristics of both maids and mistresses.
The analysis of the data provides the basis for the second part of the study. The second part has as its objective an analysis of the importance of domestic service to the process of development in Brazil, and the assessment of the research questions drawn from the literature review. The research questions consider three main aspects: (a) maids' working conditions; (b) the psychological and subjective aspects of domestic servants, especially in terms of their relationships with mistresses; and (c) the degree of dependency on maids presented by working and non-working mistresses.
Issue Date:1989
Rights Information:Copyright 1989 Vergolino, Tercina Barbosa
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI8924963
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI8924963

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