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COMMODIFICATION OF DOMESTIC LABOUR, THE CULTURE OF SERVITUDE AND THE MAKING OF THE CHILEAN NATION

Rosario Fernández Ossandón

The objective of this article is to analyse the current dynamics of commodification of care and domestic labour in Chile from a feminist perspective. Drawing on interviews with upper-class employers in Santiago and a review of the new domestic labour law and the state programme Chile Cuida (Chile Cares), this article argues that the commodification of domestic labour is intensified today in a neoliberal context, where colonial and modern modes of labour organisation and subjectivities co-exist. With the continuity of a culture of servitude, paid domestic labour enables the Chilean State to portray itself as modern and gender-friendly and upper-class women can become modern women while maintaining patriarchal and racist arrangements within homes and the nation and without disassembling the traditional racial bond between nation and family in modern Chilean democracy.

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