Care Activism: Migrant Domestic Workers, Movement Building and Communities of Care available from the University of Illinois Press
Winner of the National Women’s Studies Association First Book Prize and featured in Ms. Magazine’s August 2023 Reads list!
Care activism challenges the stereotype of downtrodden migrant caregivers by showing that care workers have distinct ways of caring for themselves, for each other, and for the larger transnational community of care workers and their families. Ethel Tungohan illuminates how the goals and desires of migrant care worker activists goes beyond political considerations like policy changes and overturning power structures. Through practices of subversive friendships and being there for each other, care activism acts as an extension of the daily work that caregivers do, oftentimes also instilling practices of resistance and critical hope among care workers. At the same time, the communities created by care activism help migrant caregivers survive and even thrive in the face of arduous working and living conditions and the pains surrounding family separation. As Tungohan shows, care activism also unifies caregivers to resist society’s legal and economic devaluations of care and domestic work by reaffirming a belief that they, and what they do, are important and necessary.