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Migrant work, precarious work–life balance: what the experiences of migrant workers in the service sector in Greater London tell us about the adult worker model

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In this article we connect migration for waged work in post-industrial economies and debates about work–life balance. Migrant workers undertake much of the service sector work which makes others' work–life balance possible and yet their own work–life balance negotiations are often neglected. We use the narratives of migrants working in London's healthcare and hospitality sector collected in semi-structured interviews to begin to address this omission. The workers we talked to engaged in diverse and complex negotiations and strategies to balance paid work and their caring responsibilities. We consider what these workers' experiences reveal about the adult worker model, which underpins contemporary workfare policy and framings of the appropriate balance between productive and reproductive work, arguing that it is left looking overly simplistic and morally wanting.
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Keywords: London; Londres; adult worker model; clase; class; empleo en el sector servicios; equilibrio trabajo-vida personal; gender; género; migración; migration; modelo de trabajador adulto; service sector employment; work–life balance

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Geography, College of Life and Environmental Sciences, Amory Building, Rennes DriveExeterEX4 4RJ, UK 2: School of Geography and the Environment, University of Oxford, South Park RoadOX1 3QY, UK 3: Department of Geography and the Environment,The University of Texas at Austin, 1 University Station – A3100AustinTX, USA

Publication date: 2011-10-01

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