MIGRANT DOMESTIC CAREWORKERS: Between the Public and the Private in Catholic Social Teaching
Article first published online: 17 JAN 2012
© 2012 Journal of Religious Ethics, Inc.
Journal of Religious Ethics
Volume 40, Issue 1, pages 1–25, March 2012
How to Cite
Osborne, C. R. (2012), MIGRANT DOMESTIC CAREWORKERS: Between the Public and the Private in Catholic Social Teaching. Journal of Religious Ethics, 40: 1–25. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9795.2011.00506.x
- Issue published online: 17 JAN 2012
- Article first published online: 17 JAN 2012
- Catholic social thought;
- domestic workers;
- workplace justice;
- feminist ethics;
This essay argues that Catholic (magisterial) social teaching's division of ethics into public and private creates a structural lacuna which makes it almost impossible to envision a truly just situation for migrant domestic careworkers (MDCs) within the current horizon of Catholic social thought. Drawing on a variety of sociological studies, I conclude that it is easy for MDCs to “disappear” between two countries, two families, and, finally, two sets of ethical norms. If the magisterium genuinely wishes Catholic ethicists to address the plight of these migrant women, normative Catholic social teaching must pay more attention to household sociological realities and more fully absorb the feminist critique of the sharp line between the public and the private, between care and paid work.