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Brokering Servitude
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Brokering Servitude: Migration and the Politics of Domestic Labor during the Long Nineteenth Century

Andrew Urban


Brokering Servitude examines how labor markets for domestic service were identified, shaped, and governed by philanthropists, missionaries, commercial offices, and the state. Because household service was undesirable work and stigmatized as menial and unfree, brokers were integral to steering and compelling women, men, and children into this labor. By the end of the nineteenth century, the federal government—as the sovereign power responsible for overseeing immigration—had become a major broker of domestic labor through border controls. By determining eligibility for entry, federal immigration ... More

Keywords: migration, immigration policy, free and unfree labor, reproductive labor, domestic labor, brokers, employment agents, servitude, domesticity

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2017 Print ISBN-13: 9780814785843
Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: September 2018 DOI:10.18574/nyu/9780814785843.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Andrew Urban, author
Rutgers Univ