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The New American ServitudePolitical Belonging among African Immigrant Home Care Workers$
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Caiti Coe

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781479831012

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479831012.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM NYU Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.nyu.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of NYU Press Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NYSO for personal use.date: 25 May 2020

A Lack of Reciprocity

A Lack of Reciprocity

Wages, Benefits, and Contingent Employment

(p.203) 5 A Lack of Reciprocity
The New American Servitude

Cati Coe

NYU Press

This chapter examines how workplace conditions and benefits shape care workers’ national belonging. It discusses the home care field, including its historically unregulated character due to its categorization as domestic service. Agencies are currently responding to new regulations regarding overtime and health insurance, which have had contradictory effects on workers. It also discusses the amount of profit agencies are making from care workers. Care workers feel that they are denied reciprocities to which they are entitled through their labor. This is thus a complicated sense of belonging, in which they belong enough to feel entitled to reward, but not enough belonging to feel that they can work in unison against this system. Many, instead, decide that this state of affairs confirms that they belong in their home countries rather than in the United States. It is there that they imagine that they will reap the rewards of their labor and attain a dignity that is denied in the United States.

Keywords:   domestic service, regulations, Affordable Care Act, reciprocity, belonging, flexible workforce, benefits, wages, health insurance, sick leave

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