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Domestic work, family life, and immigration in Sicily

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Many Italians now depend on foreign women and men to look after their homes, their children, and the elderly. After charting the recent increase in demand for paid domestic labor in Palermo and describing immigrant experiences at work in Sicilian homes, this article examines how domestic employment impedes immigrant family formation. In search of economic security so crucial to the pursuit of family plans, many immigrants leave Sicily for the Italian north, where foreign men are most likely to find employment outside the domestic sector. The article also considers the extent to which today's immigrants resemble the peasants studied by Jane and Peter Schneider.
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Keywords: Immigration; Sicily; domestic work; family; mobility

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Dowling College 2: Ross School

Publication date: March 1, 2006

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