SOCIALREPRODUCTION AND THE LIVE IN CAREGIVER PROGRAM IN CANADA
Duringthe process of carrying out the study, I was at the mercy ofdifferent people who made this research a success. I would like tothank my instructor for taking me through the processes of conductingresearch. In addition, I would also thank my colleagues for theirpart in the constant consultation with one another and finally, myfamily for their incessant support and encouragement during thestudy.
Socialreproduction is a major factor controls or influences the economy andthe live –in caregiver program in Canada. The society’sreproduction needs are determined by the middle working class and theupper class individuals. In order to research on the elements ofsocial reproduction in relation to the economy, neo-liberalstructures and the feminist economics, the research paper needs touse the two methods of analysis. The study makes use of qualitativeand investigative means. It used postal questionnaires and hand outquestionnaires in the pilot study. The results show that thestruggles of social reproduction manifest themselves due to thesocial provisioning needs. The society also dictates how growth ofthe alternative child and elder care, specifically the live incaregiver program
KeyWords: Social reproduction, feminist international political economy,global capitalism, social policy, neo-liberal restructuring
Tableof Contents. Page
Research Questions 11
Problem Statement 12
Literature Review 14
Social Reproduction in Canada 15
Manifestations of Social Reproduction 20
Importance of Social Reproduction to the Economy System 23
Global Labour Supply for Foreign Domestic Workers 24
Canadian demand for global domestic labour 29
National Childcare program LCP program reliance 30
Neo-liberal structuring and the live in caregiver program Canada 33
Experiences of workers in the Live in caregiver program 37
The Feminist Global International Economy 40
Social Relations and Capitalism 44
Research Design 46
Data Collection 47
Results form Pilot Sample Studies 49
Socialreproduction and the live-in caregiver program in Canada
Socialreproduction and the live in caregiver program have elicited a lot ofpolitical debate. The live-in caregiver program has been at thecentre of the Canadian immigration policy reviews. Socialreproduction may also be termed as a means of social provisioning.Thelive-in caregiver program in Canada occurs as a struggle between themanifestations of social reproduction. Social reproduction alsosocial provision in society depicts how society and specificallyauthorities use cheaper social based alternatives to provide societywith a cheaper version of structured services such as care giving.Accordingto Bakker, Isabella and Stephen 2003, the early supporters of socialreproduction based the program on the Marxist school of thought1.
Theexpanded mode of production as means of social provision of the dailyneeds of society was rather general than specific. The paper will aimto analyze the mode in terms of formal and paid labour versus theinformal labour and unpaid labour such as house chores, child rearingand child care. The unpaid labour sets have been on the gender of theworkers, in this case, a woman. The social provisioning conceptfocuses on the dynamics related to the logistics placed to manage thetwo areas of production. The effects on the political and culturalentities in the Canadian community will also be into consideration.
Theintegration of the two ideologies, Marxist thought and capitalistthought are fundamental factors. The paper will address the elementsthat require adequate accounting to note how social reproductionbecame part of the economy and its effects in the political sphere.However, the threats posed by social provisioning to the economy arenumerous and may impact negatively or positively. The linkage ofneo-liberal tendencies to the social reproduction has led to therefinement of structures hat enable the government or authorities toavoid formulation of policies that impact negatively upon theeconomy. Neo-liberalismideally succeeded in both the Americas and European continents in theearly 80s to 1990’s period because it succeeded in exploiting theweak areas of the social democratic society that was on Keynesianpolicies. The availability of currency conversion based on the dollaras a base reference led to the growth of capitalist economictendencies. However, the era of managed capitalism came to an endsince it secluded the domestic market as part of a generativeeconomy. Therefore, the attainment of a stable employment rate in thedomestic labour sector has led to the growth of social reproductionand ultimately the live-in caregiver program. The state has been ableto do away with dependency on government run structures that costtaxpayers a tidy some through employment of alternative policies thatwill be discussed further in the research paper.
Theglobal political economy incorporates the need to structure aneconomy based on the market that shifts with the differentialfactors. The role of the state is an essential element that requiresaddress concerning the orthodox shift of the social democraticfaction of any state. The effects of the above element affect theinternational and domestic welfare of any state. However, scepticismconcerning the social reproduction and live in caregiver program arealso rife. Adoption of applicable policies has influenced the ratesof subsequent or alternative cheaper options that cost. Therefore,policy formulation is done with respect to the economic impacts thatmay occur as a result.
Socialprovisioning cannot be de-linked from gender. The presence of afemale majority clearly depicts the role of women in socialprovisioning. Therefore, social reproduction is focused upon asgender relative element of the economy whose driving force depends ona single gender. The use of women by other women to provide cheaplabour is an element of the social reproduction. Availability ofeconomic opportunities in the unpaid labour division has bridged thegap between the Marxist thought and the capitalist opportunism. TheMarxist school of thought holds the opinion that care giving andtraditional duties such as house chores are non-generative parts ofthe economy. The duties, feminist Marxists opine are mostly social.Majority of workers absorbed into the program are women as earlierstated. However, women of colour form the bulk of the labour forcedue to the inexperience they hold mostly in other sectors of theeconomy.
Socialreproductive feminism has led to the use of immigrant women byresident women in the provision of social services. Race and racialtendencies are alien to the program although scepticism concerningthe recruitment of women of colour vis-à-vis women from other raceshas led to the notion that social reproduction with respect tocaregiving is for the unskilled. The live-in caregiver program inCanada incorporates the provision of care to people of various ages.The program includes provision of child care and elderly care.However, patients suffering from ailments that can be from home arealso liable to receive care from live-in caregivers. The majority ofpeople employed in the live-in caregiver program are primarily women.Women are naturally assumed to be better caregivers due to theirnurturing and patient nature. The numbers of workers in the Canadianlive in caregiver program are also immigrant workers, granted visasby the Canadian government to provide the service.
Theimmigrants are vetted before they are allowed to participate fully inthe program. The workers are then given permanent residency afterapplication and success completion of the required requisite factors.The program allows for change in the residency status of the workerissued with temporary visas. The committee overseeing the employmentof individuals into the program oversees the above process throughliaison with the immigration department. The success of the programhas led to the use of the live-in caregiver program as a model in thestructuring of social policy laws. The program has however undergonea lot of scrutiny and scepticism due to the qualification criteriaset by the authoritative board overseeing the recruitment ofcaregivers. In this research paper, we investigate the various facetsof the program, their effects on the society and the economy. TheCanadian society has recently witnessed an increase in the demandcaregiver services. Hence, the need to look into the social effectsand the policies that the Canadian government has set. This has beendone with respect to the program and its social reproductive effect.The use of the program as an immigration tool is a factor that willbe in the research paper.
Theintervention of the Canadian government in the formation of socialpolicies has been done with respect to the current market dynamics.The government’s inability to provide certain services has led tothe use of cheaper alternative programs. The live-in caregiverprogram has been used as an alternative care program in place of anational childcare structure.
Thefeminist political economy is part of numerous economical models thatdispute the neo-liberal school of thought or economic model. Theneo-liberal economics focuses solely on the growth of the market andgrowth in relation to the primary elements that drive the economy.Social provisioning is like an indirect economical model that usessocial relations to create a constant supply of revenue fromtraditionally unpaid jobs. The basis of economics on the politicalapproach of the economy clearly shows how gender determines andinfluences the social, political relationships. Hence the feministinternational political economy approaches. The political, economicapproach disputes with the simple economic approach. The simpleeconomic approach focuses on the provision of goods and services witha free market in relation to the demand. Therefore, demand for theLCP programs’ services is expected to soar since the society isincreasingly towards a modernity phase where women are equallyempowered to provide. Reliance on the above program by the governmentto provide the necessary social service is a replacement to the lackof an adequate structure by the government.
However,a feminist approach solely relies on the revelation of how genderclearly influences and determines the socio- political structure ofthe nation regardless of the dynamics of the economy. The relation ofgender to the formation of structures of power is an importantanalysis factor of how the social reproduction and the live incaregiver program have impacted society. The feminist politicaleconomy focuses on women`s role with respect to the formation ofpolitical and power structures and the various social and economiceffects that occur as a result. The subordination of women allspheres of society have led to the creation of a feminist approachtowards the creation and distribution of wealth. The intervention ofthe state on social policy formulation has become the norm due to thereduction of cost that also reflects positively on the economy.Neo-liberal tendencies of the economy have also led to the discardingof previous economic practices that focused solely on the traditionalincome generating practices. The inclusion of non-paying jobs asincome generating opportunities is the main factor that has led tothe development of a social reproductive structure that has impactedon the economy.
Therelationship of women and the state and how women carry outrelationships is a factor that shall be addressed. The influence ofwomen in formation of political structures a factor that controls thesocio-economic development status of any state. The roles of women infulfilling the needs of social provisioning are important. Ananalysis of the roles will depict how the state relates to the womenas first-class important members of the economic society. Therelationship of women with respect to fulfilling household chores isan element that will be about social provisioning. The experiences ofthe caregivers in the program have elicited various responses towardsprovision of the above services in society. Incidences and reportsconcerning the abuse of live-in caregivers have been rampant. Due tothe type of residency status possessed by the worker, they remainvulnerable to abuse regardless of the repercussions the employermight face. However, some live in caregivers are presented withfavourable conditions to work.
Inthe analysis of a topic, the following keywords shall be placed intofocus, and their relational effects assessed. Social reproductionalso referred to a social provisioning shall be assessed, feministinternational political economy, global capitalism, social policy andneo-liberal restructuring. The overall research shall include therelations between the live in caregiver program, its effects onimmigration and citizenship status of a worker the capitalistdevelopment process as a result of shifts in the economy of Canada.The paper will also analyze the role of gender in socialreproduction. The analysis will particularly focus on women inrelation to fulfilling their care-giving duties via the use of otherwomen from less privileged countries. The live- in experience of thecaregivers will be analyzed in the paper based on the abuse andpresence of favourable working conditions. The experience analysiswill include the incorporation of questionnaires that aid in theacquisition of data to analyse the structural constraints that theprogram is facing.
Theresearch paper will analyse the following questions that arerelational to the topic.
What prompted the development of the live-in caregiver program in Canada?
What struggles did social reproduction create that prompted the need to incorporate alternative structures to cater for the lack of mainstream services?
What is the relationship between the women and state how does this affect their social productivity roles in the society?
What does neo-liberal re-structuring lead to in the Canadian society?
Thesocial being requires a constant delivery of social services,structures that have been set in place by the society or authoritiesto fulfil the social needs. Traditionally, women are taken to be thesole provider of social care, a trend that is currently on-going.However, the social reproduction has morphed through time in societydue to the advent of the women empowerment phase. Socialreproduction, also social provisioning is a part of the economy thathas created loopholes in the delivery of social services such ascare. The above loopholes occur due to lack of adequate structureswith respect to delivery of caregiver services in the Canadiansociety. The social struggles increasing as a result of neo-liberalrestructuring is an element that has led to the advent of the live-incaregiver program. The use of other women from less privilegedsocieties by women in the Canadian society to fulfil their roles ascaregivers is an element that has elicited as a lot of debate.
Therestructuring of neo-liberal structures in the Canadian economy hasfurther led to the development of some economic sectors in line withthe feminist politico-economic views a deviation from thetraditional based Marxist, communist economic structures. Whatstruggles does neo-liberal structuring pose for the program andfabric of Canada`s society? Is a fundamental question since themanifestation of the above struggles have created a program that hasled to the development of various policies that affect Canada`sstanding in the global political front. The result is the creation ofa cosmopolitan society that has incorporated people from variousnations to seal loopholes that would otherwise be left open due tothe equality stature. The use of social policy with respect to themarket dynamics has led to the use of alternatives by the governingauthorities. Legislation and policies have enabled the Canadianstates to switch adequately from mainstream services provision.Creation of economic opportunities in areas deemed as non-generativehas been the result. However, what problems have the above strategycreated? A deviation from some of the capitalist tendencies thathave also shaped the overall structure of the state.
Insummary, the research paper will analyse all the above elements withreference to the live-in caregiver program. Additional analysis shallalso be done to establish the challenges that the caregivers face andthe effects to the state in terms of economic, political and socialstanding of the state. The research questions will provide aframework guide to the whole research paper.
2.1 LITERATURE REVIEW
Thesocial reproductive context has created a platform for there-structuring of the economy from a materialist and generative,mainstream based economy. The result is the creation of an economythat incorporates feminism and socialist tendencies intertwined witha capitalist structure. The combination of Marxist and feministinternational political structures occurred as a result of thereduction based view of the economy. Sceptics view the Marxisteconomy structure as a traditional based structure that onlyperpetuated males as the soles drivers of a given economy. Theinclusion of women in income generational activities was viewed as asecondary or supportive measure. The above notion was held due to thetraditional role of women as caregivers in society. The roles ofwomen in society in any given area traditionally were definitive tocare giving at home and supportive roles in the community.
Thechores done by women are viewed as non-income or unpaid entities ofthe labour field. The beginning and development of socialreproduction as a part of the economy in a given state is as a resultof the global empowerment of women. Previously, traditional economicscentred on the notion of materialism as the basis of economics.Non-tangible social and unpaid roles were not viewed as incomegenerating sectors. The start of the global politico-economicfeminism led to a change in structure. In Canada, it is evident thatthe shift in use of policy to determine and alternative provision ofsocial reproduction services has affected a myriad of entities withinthe cultural framework of the society, its political and economicaldevelopment. However, the creation of a virtual sub-class in societyhas elicited a number of challenges within the society itself thatrequires address.
Thedevelopment of a clear structure based on social reproduction hasseen the growth of social provision advance from the unpaid laboursector to an important part of the economy that has affected majorsectors of the state. It is fundamental to note that the concept ofthe Marxist school of thought has offered means in the structuring ofthe economy to suit the global feminism economy that is beingembraced as a result of equality and empowerment of both sexes,particularly, the females. The roles of females, previously viewed assubordinate and supportive in society have now garnered the strengthand structure to stand on their own as fundamental entities that areable to generate income, control the formulation of policies social,economical and determine the dynamics of political power and thestate. The above development then leads us to the development ofsocial reproduction in the Canadian society with respect to the livein caregiver program an alternative supportive element to thenational childcare program.
Theimpact of neo-liberal and global capital structures on stratificationin the society have influence on the citizenship and capital of thegiven community. The reliance of social capital on the globaldomestic labour supply market is based on the exploitation of thevarious immigrants and the marginalized workers who seek jobs in thedomestic labour sector. The social reproduction structures tend tofollow a reductionism path. Social reproduction is used to conceiveinterlocking economic structures that are that have the ability tocontrol or influence the reproductive needs of a given community.
Thetransformative nature of social reproduction is based on gender,class and race that also shape the dynamics of the global capitalmarket. The material approach to social relations places emphasis onthe weight of the domestic needs in a given society. The socialreproduction element is important in creating a relation between workand labour. Work provides a wide process that mediates variousprocesses between the social and natural processes in a giveneconomic zone. The theoretical combination of human practicality in asocial economy provides social reproduction with an element of socialcapital.
2.2 SocialReproduction in Canada
Thesociologist Doob Christopher B. Noted by Estes et al. 2003, note thatsocial reproduction theorem dwells on the significance of the socialstructures and activities that propagate social inequities from ageneration to the other based on the four types of capital2.The four types of capital contribute to the growth or lack thereof ofthe economy in a society. The capitals include social capital, human,cultural and financial capitals. Social reproduction, also socialprovisioning adequately aims at production of services in a socialcontext that was traditionally viewed as non-payable entities of thelabour force. The social reproduction element supports the structureof an all inclusive means of production and delivery of service thatdoesn’t deter the inclusion of other forms of labour, notablydomestic labour as part of the economy.
Socialreproduction essentially combines the generative form of labour thatis common with the salaried economy the domestic labour element thatis based upon the roles of women in the domestic front. The unpaidroles of women such as giving birth, nurturing the children andraising them into the future workforce and care giving have also beenused to broadly define labour, making it all inclusive. However, theinclusion of the above roles in definitive labour has led to theformation of economic opportunities that reject the Marxistdefinition of labour. Hence social reproduction or socialprovisioning has led to the advent of care giving as an alternativeto the mainstream social care service such as the national childcareprogram a common occurrence in the Canadian society. The use of thelive in caregiver program to aid in the delivery of service hasperpetuated the growth of social reproduction in Canada. Thesupporters of social reproduction capture social production as ameans of providing for the daily and generational needs in society.The needs are based on the formal labour sector that is paid and theinformal unpaid sector. The social reproduction concept placesemphasis on the essentials and dynamism of the economy.
Theintegration of political and cultural elements into the productivepart of the economy is important to the social reproductive element.It is important for the society to mediate social relations and theeconomic structures that are used to govern the productive elementsof a social economy. Social capital and social space are alsofundamental parts of the economy that are linked to each other. Thesocio-economic structures are reproduced and use social capital tofulfil the targets and purpose. Feminists basing their thoughts onMarxist principles opine that culture and social experience offerlittle in terms of political economic subjectivity. The socialreproductive concerns are also affected by racial tendencies andethnicity that leads to the development of gender based opinions andclass in society. Through the focus of ethnicity and race, theintegration of both sector of the labour divide into the economycreated a rift since it also led to the exploitation of workers.
Socialreproduction in Canada is based on the global feminism factor, afundamental element that rejects the Marxian feminism view. TheMarxian school of thought opines that labour should be definitive andnon- income generating labour divisions should essentially not be animportant part of the economic fabric. The relation between theeconomic, political and domestic labour fronts in the above school ofthought pit each form of labour as superior to the other. The growthof a socialist based productive political economy in Canada led tothe reduction in the use of Marxist views. The above developmentoccurs due to realisation by society that it is impossible toseparate domestic and traditionally unpaid labour from the overalleconomy. Further, the empowerment of women has led to their growthand ability to influence the economy via creation of jobs in thedomestic sector.
Evidentto the cause is the development of the live in caregiver program as aform of social provisioning in the Canadian society. The economy inCanada has grown to the extent of incorporating women in theformation of a formidable workforce. No longer are women left to thedomestic roles tag that they traditionally carried. Care giving insociety has as a result suffered a major setback. The result of suchan occurrence is the use of women by other women in the society toprovide such services in the domestic realm. Banerjee 2008 notes thatmajority, if not all of the women employed to gap the lack ofcaregiver services by the women, are from disadvantaged, lesseconomically privileged countries3.
Basisof the economy on the social provisioning further dissects the labourforce into definitive roles complete with clear social policies thathave led to the creation of a feminist based economy. However, thefeminist based economy does not only tend to be raciallydiscriminative but also class subjective. Employment of lessprivileged women from less powerful economies has led to neardiscrimination of this class or workers who are seen as a sub-classto the mainstream work force dominated by the residents. Socialreproduction requires analysis through the use of investigativequestions that also address the assumptions concerning globaldomestic labour supply and demand. The argument or further researchshould be based upon theoretical research.
Feministeconomics base social reproduction on gender inequality and how itshapes the global processes of production with regards to labour.Since majority of domestic workers are women, the research shouldfocus on women’s roles in various sectors of the economy, not aspart of the domestic labour sector only. Gender inequalities arefundamental to the functions of a global capitalist and feministeconomy. However, social reproduction incorporates the elements ofglobal market production. It is evident that free markets of labourare rarely exploited by the domestic labour sector. However,commodity modification has led to the creation of ‘un-free’labour divide by the employers due to presence of policies andloopholes that govern the sector.
Marxisteconomists hold the opinion that economics offers individuals anoption of engaging in the market they find suitable. The workers arealso responsible for the conditions that social reproduction presentsto them. The workers should also be away that social reproductionneeds may transform them into un-free labourers resulting inexploitation. Social reproduction interacts with the global cycle ofproduction and how it affects the market. Thefocus of formal labour on un-free and its rate of commoditymodification into the feudal like system show how social reproductioncan be related to the global labour supply chain. The gender basedanalysis of global production is based on the contribution of men andwomen to social reproduction. The incorporation of socialreproduction with respect to global production aids in theunderstanding of the above element. Social reproduction is based as aconstituent of the global production course4.The analysis of the two elements would help in the investigation ofglobal market production chains. The presence of lowly paid andunpaid workers in the social reproductive labour market show theconditions of, and rates of interaction with global production.
Forinstance, coupling social reproductive needs and the supply of labourwill be essential if monitored at each stage in the global marketproduction process. Coupling allows the researcher to rate andnumerically analyze the interactions between social reproduction andthe production chain. The foreign domestic workers are controlled andinfluence by the element of social reproduction.
Itis significant to inquire, does the social reproduction element posedby the Canadian society fundamental to its growth as a cosmopolitan,economically all inclusive society that rids it of racialdisparities? The above question leads us to the factor,manifestations of social reproduction. Feminist political economistsuse social reproduction based on the Marxist principles5.However, the feminists re-structure the Marxist elements to suite thefeminist international political economic elements. The maintenanceof the production process also refers to the recreational and socialstructures that are created to fulfil the needs. The transmission ofneeds from generation to the next also determines the rate at whichsociety creates the need for social provisioning services. Further,social reproduction entails the construction of individual elementsand identities pooled together to create a society with specificneeds. The feminist political economists view social reproduction asa relation that contradicts the global production chain. The relationoffers conflict between social systems and economic reproduction in acapitalist economy.
Theworking class, especially the middles work class is able to influencethe needs of the social reproduction process. The influence alsooffers the requisite conditions for the setup of a capitalistproduction system. The system ensures there is constant supply oflabour, formal or informal labour. The presence of a surplus insocial reproduction is used in the growth of the economy as acapital. However, the occurrence of conflict is inevitable. Conflictoccurs due to the unfair distribution of resources in society andleads to the creation of classes. The dual -cyclic relationshipbetween social reproduction and market production in a capitalistenvironment creates a point that is monitored through use of analysissystems. In Canada, labour and capital is core to the elements of thepolitical process. Organizations tasked with catering for womenwelfare also follow the social reproduction elements stipulated bythe society.
TheCanadian state, founded in the year 1867, engaged mainly inagriculture for sustenance. The labour factor was not considered asan element for production since each house hold was self sufficient.However, the increase in population led to the need for theacquisition of labour from other markets to supplement the deficit inlabour. The combination of English and French cultures led to thecreation of a cosmopolitan state that also embraced capitalisteconomic tendencies6.Further, industrialization led to the advent of new social structuresthat could influence the political and economic welfare of the largerstate. Social reproduction and federalism in Canada createdcontradictions between the two elements. Creation of the Canadianstate was based on the accumulation of capital adopted from theEnglish developed business in Toronto and Montreal. The creation offree market trade and capitalism is a development that obeys thestructures based on the demands of a socially reproductive society.
Theadoption of federal structures by Canada occurred due toreconciliation of the French and English speaking communities in thestate. The development of Canadian welfare was based on civil rightswith respect to the social structures and needs of the natives,English and French immigrants. The relations between families andbusinesses in Canada also offered as mean through which socialreproduction needs would be satisfied without upsetting the socialstructures set in society. Hence, it is possible to opine that socialreproduction led to the development of social structures from anuclear level in society to the state and federal level.
2.3 Manifestations of Social Reproduction
Inthe Canadian context, the manifestations social reproduction isevident. The struggles of social reproduction offer insight into themyriad of challenges in the society. Crisis in the Canadian relatedto social production was historical observed during the greatAmericas economic depression of the 1930’s. The lack of employmentfor the masses created a class stratification of society a have andhave not society. Capitalism due to the political power wielded bythe working class led to the development of social confrontationsbetween the state and the citizens. Cooperative federalism occurredas a manifestation of social production due to the necessity of themasses to congregate against the state. Therefore, the perpetuationof communist and the Marxist school of thought led to a partiallydivided society although not on racial and gender lines. Socialreproduction occurred as a major element rooted in communism. Thefailure of the federal states to shift to capitalism and rate itseconomy with its neighbour is as a result of the above shift infundamental thought.
Therefore,the failure of the economy and the resultant depression is amanifestation of social reproduction. The failure is a factor thatled to the realisation on the importance of incorporating other formsof labour into the workforce. The incorporation of Keynesiantendencies and shift from the Marxian view of the economy has led toidentification of some forms of labour as important parts of theeconomy and political factors of the state. Keynesian theories posethe state as the provision arm in society that regulates the marketsand its relations to the demand and supply of goods and services.
However,the above Keynesian theories elicit a failure in the system that ledto failure in delivery of services by the state. A good example is insocial provisioning. The 1980’s period to the early 1990’s periodshowed a period of women empowerment in society. Therefore, thevarious federal states had to note the inability of structuring theeconomy on the Keynesian principles. Evident is the inability of thestate to fulfil its role in the national childcare policy since womenbecame part of the mainstream economy. The creation of a loophole inthe traditional domestic labour division led to the re-structuring ofneo-liberal economic structures to create an inclusive economy thatwas able to use alterative policy.
Themanifestation of the social production is the failure of the economybased on the Marxian principles and a shift towards incorporationKeynesian principles of capitalism. The inclusion of globalcapitalist tendencies in the provision of social services has thenled to the growth of the live in caregiver program, an essential partof the program. The live in caregiver program is a manifestation ofthe social reproduction element that utilises the strategy ofimporting labour to fulfil the roles of service delivery in theCanadian society.
Actsand formulation of policies by parliament as a result of themanifestation of social reproduction is evident. In various contexts,social reproduction can manifest itself through struggle in socialsystem of a particular society. The live in caregiver program hasbeen used as an alternative means to fulfil demand for service in thenational child welfare. The use of the program began as amanifestation of the struggles that the social system faces inparticular, the focus of the program as a social provisioningelement. The growth of social reproduction created more issueschallenging the social structure in society. However, challengesarise due to the presence of various identities within the community.
Somecomplement each whereas some conflict each other. Inequality insociety has led to stratification of the society along class andfinancial lines. The social reproductive needs of the bourgeois classare varies from and is at times totally different from that of thelower classes. As a result, the struggles are faced mostly by themiddle class in society who hold the power to expenditure. Theirability to control market dynamics due to their dynamic spendingpatterns, economic activity involvement has led to the creation ofjobs in the social domestic front.
Themanifestations of social reproduction in society can be deemed asappositive since they have led to the creation of an economicallyviable program, improvement in social policies. However,stratification in the Canadian society is inevitable. The presence ofan unskilled, untrained workforce brought in to perform caregiverduties has led to the formation of a ‘sub-class’7.The worker are able to obtained resident visa and ultimately,Canadian citizenship but with limited rights to exercise similarrights of indigenous Canadian citizens. This stratification is amanifestation of social reproduction8.Since social reproduction is a more female focused entity, theinfluence of women in the political, economical and social structuresis inevitable. There is a deviation of thought from the communist,male -based wage economy and social dependency on the state, to thecapitalist all inclusive economy.
2.4. Importanceof Social Reproduction to the Economy System
Socialreproduction in the Canadian society has also led to its influence onthe political environ in the country. The numbers of people in demandof social reproductive structures are able to influence theeconomical structures in the society. The factor leads us to thefeminist global international political. Marxistsopine that capitalist societies base social reproduction on theamount of capital generated by the workers. The failure to produceadequate capital leads to the slowdown and ultimate collapse of anyeconomy. Therefore, social reproduction entails the economicproduction that is expansive, requires constant market growth andtakes into account the social reproductive demands of the market9.The growth of capital is a fundamental and non-compromising elementof economy its growth is a must. Economic growth is significantespecially in capitalism since it caters for factors such aspopulation growth and market dynamics. Some economists dismiss theoccurrence of a ‘zero or no-growth’ society.
Thepresence of a constant, vicious cycle society requires the removal ofcapitalism from its structures. Some economists opine that populationgrowth leads to the growth of the economy while some opine that alarge population leads to waste of resources. However, it is hard tochoose what type of economy will be affected by social reproductionrendering it harmful or beneficial to the people. The growth ofwealth inform of assets occurs through the combination of the networth through transfer of wealth from individual to individual.Social reproduction may affect the growth of economy since transferof wealth equates to the growth of wealth in society while lack oftransfer leads to the stagnation of economic growth. Socialreproduction is then a fundamental part of the economy since itselements control the resource distribution mechanisms and theregeneration of resources.
2.5.Social reproduction through the lens of depletion
Thepolitical feminist economics have described social reproduction undervarious lenses and how it manifests itself. The major components andits fit in the various global economies have led to the analysisthrough depletion. Social reproduction affects the local, regionaland ultimately the global economy.
Thenature and elements of any given economy and its dynamics can beassessed through social reproduction. Further, Social reproductionmay be addressed through the following elements.
Biological reproduction. Bio-reproduction entails the production of human capital in the society that ultimately gives rise to the workforce or source of labor. The labor will eventually manifest itself as a social capital solution to the social reproduction needs. Biological reproduction as an element of social reproduction also entails the provision of intimate services. The services help in maintaining the fabric of a family and the intimacy in relationships. Good family systems define a good society.
Social reproduction also entails the sector of unpaid labor. The various forms include caregiving, voluntary jobs and nurturing.
Culture and social provisioning are also part of social reproduction.
Thesocial elements that govern the family structure and the society areall affected by social reproduction. Depletion that may be defined asthe steep decline in the progress of the process, in this case, theeconomy. The economy is affected by social reproduction hence thefocus of social reproduction via the lens of depletion.
Socialreproduction and depletion rates in its performance may affect manyelements of the economy of a given region. A country`s or states`gross domestic product clearly reflects the interrelations betweenthe political-economic factors and how its social reproductive needsare fulfilled. However, depletion may be noticed via extrapolationsof economic and social variables. In essence, depletion via socialreproduction is not perfectly accurate through the use of numericmodels. Therefore, social reproduction may deplete an individual’abilities and strengths. In general, the overall strength of a givenworkforce may be influenced by the rates of depletion in a givensociety’s economy. The domestic labor sector that may involve paidand unpaid jobs is quite hard to measure in terms of depletion due tothe porous nature of the sector.
Depletionin social reproduction varies from individual to individual. Theengaging in various forms of labor, either formal or informal alsovaries the rate of depletion. The optimum point of depletion insocial reproduction is significant when political and economicinterrelations come into play. The use of the domestic unit thatbases its needs on altruism portrays social reproduction as aconsensual occurrence. The production of goods and services withrespect to social reproduction needs may be affected by depletion.The economical dynamics affecting the reproduction processes dependon social reproduction inputs such as labor, social capital andsocial provisioning solutions such as non-tangible produce. The aboveinputs at different levels or variations, then give a propervaluation of depletion with respect to social reproduction. Further,depletion leads to malfunction or reduction in progress of economicfunctions regardless of what sector is affected, formal or domesticlabor.
2.6.Global Labour Supply for Foreign Domestic Workers
Thepresences of job opportunities created by the loopholes a result ofthe struggles of social reproduction have a fundamental effect of thecultural structure in Canada. The program accords the first chance ofjob application to any available Canadian interested before settlingfor an immigrant. The live in care giver program employs immigrantsfrom less privileged countries. The presence of cultural variationsin the society occurs due to the presence of immigrants in thesociety. The immigrants have the probability of migrating with theirfamilies. Therefore creation of a cosmopolitan society occurs as aresult of social reproduction, particularly, social provisioning. Dueto the nature of the dynamism of culture, the immigrants areincorporated into the Canadian society with ease. Disregarding theracial tendencies has led to the growth of the program. However, theeffects of cases of racism in society towards the migrant workersparticipating in the program have also been reported. However, thecultural structure in Canada is cosmopolitan and aims at fulfillingthe needs of the all the people residing in the various federalstates.
Thedomestic labour sector covers a considerable portion of the labourfield. Home employment entails majority of what comprises domesticlabour and is relational to the private supply of labour toindividuals. The domestic labour sector is not influenced by thepolitical factors in a region rather more by the supply chain oflabour in a given market. Therefore, the domestic labour sector canbe termed as a socio-economic type of labour. Domestic labourers havenot been fully classified with the rest of the labour sector due tothe informal process of employment that applies to the field. Thedynamism of the workers is a factor that also controls the globalsupply chain of domestic labour. The incorporation of family membersand relatives as domestic workers has also made the sector hard toregulate. Therefore, some social analysts have opined that domesticworkers are also part of the family unit. The global supply chain fordomestic workers has been noted by the International LabourOrganization, the ILO to be well distributed around the globe.
However,most of the developed countries have set structures that haveregulated the sector. According to the ILO, the distribution ofdomestic workers around the globe ranges from 51 to 110 millionpeople. The statistics are not definite due to the lack of properbodies that register domestic workers. The following tabulationadapted from the ILO shows the distribution of domestic workersaround the globe. According to the statistics, the number of womenemployed makes up the larger number of the domestic workers group.
Region domesticworkers women employed
Developedcountries 3,400,000 72.9%
Europe 590,000 67.3%
Asia/Asia Pacific 21, 466,000 81%
LatinAmerica 19, 592,000 92.1%
Africa 5,234, 000 73.8%
MiddleEast 2, 105,534 63.5%
Thesupply and demand for domestic labour is variable from place toplace. The distribution also depends on various factors such associal reproduction needs of a society, the rates of unemploymentcoupled with poverty. Regulations concerning the sector are rare dueto the presence of illegal workers partaking jobs as domestic workerswithout the relevant worsk permits. The employers also use thisfactor to obtain cheap labour below market standards.
Thefactors that drive the demand for and supply of domestic labour aredependent on many factors. The social provisioning needs of a societydictate the demand and supply of the above labour. Historically, theneed for families to portray a sense of success in the communitypressed the need to acquire domestic workers. Bourgeois families usededucated female servants as part of their household workforce10.The occurrence was normal since the females were exploited intolabour in return for lodging, education and finally the income.Further, global capital policies aided in the creation of a domesticlabour sector that entailed the need of society to have supportivestructures at home. The need for the provision of wives to settlersin overseas colonies also led to the demand for domestic labour.
However,some of the workers ended up as wives to the settler, a clear turn ofthe domestic services that underwent commodity modification. The needfor domestic workers was also fuelled by the woman empowermentcampaign that led to a change in roles of women in society. Middleworking class and low income earning women who could afford to hiredomestic workers opted for the services. The need to fulfil thetraditional roles of care-giving is an element that worked in favourof the program. The need was necessitated by the change intraditional roles such as house chores of women who engaged in incomegenerating work. Further, the need to supplement income, and improvewelfare, led to the demand for domestic labour. Developing countriesand developed countries increased the rates of demand for thedomestic labour services.
Theneed of women or workers to escape hardships in their communities ledto the creation of a constant supply of domestic labour around theglobe. Women opt to move into private homes with better living andworking conditions far from their country of origin to earn bettersalaries. The salaries are then remitted back to their respectivecountries which aid their families back home in securing betterlifestyles. The major factors that cause migration of women in searchof domestic work are war, corruption and oppression. Outbreaks ofviolence, natural disasters and poor economic opportunities also playa major role in fuelling demand global domestic labour chain.
Betterremittances offer good sources of revenue for the country of origin aworker remits. Evidence of good pay, good lifestyle and favourableworking conditions also acts as factors that also entice otherworkers to migrate to other countries in search of domestic jobs.Further, as policies of fighting unemployment in some developing andthird world countries, workers are encouraged to migrate to developedcountries in search of domestic work. The countries also use theabove strategy as developmental and economic strategy. Throughremittances, countries are able to grow strong foreign exchangereserves.
Thepresence of domestic workers in a country also leads to thedisplacement of native workers who now focus on other economicallyproductive areas of their respective labour markets. Immigrantworkers migrating to developed countries in search of jobs are onaverage well educated than the natively sourced workers. However,lack of proper documentation renders their qualifications null anddrives them towards domestic labour due to demand. The lack of accessto better and formal job markets, lack of networks, language andtechnical barriers also acts as factors fuelling the creation ofglobal domestic labour. The failure of recognition to educationalqualification also fuels the growth of the global domestic laboursupply chain.
Theglobal labour supply of domestic workers is fuelled by the costeffectiveness of hiring immigrant domestic workers as compared to thenative workers. The bureaucratic or society structures contribute tothe underpayment of foreign domestic workers. The presence of poordocumentation or lack thereof disqualifies the migrant workers fromemployer paid benefits such as healthcare, family rights and socialwelfare rights. For instance some Asia Pacific countries, the migrantdomestic workers are not entitled to minimum wage benefits. As aresult, the employers can dictate the amount of wage or salary theypay for the domestic services offered.
Migrantworkers also the supply of global domestic labour due to theflexibility they offer. The flexibility is offered in terms ofworking package. The migrant domestic workers are able to work aslive in workers hence giving the employer an option of dictating theperiod and scope of work they receive. Some laws and policies alsogive the employer partial rights over the movement of migrant workersduring their contracts. Although it contravenes the regulations andpolicies of the ILO, the sense of power over a worker by an employermakes international supply of global domestic labour, an attractivesource of domestic labour.
Incountries such as Saudi Arabia, The United Arab Emirates, Qatar andEurope, the domestic labour market has grown into an economically andprofitable market. Creation of agencies has occurred as a result ofthe demand for cheap international domestic labour. The countriestarget migrant workers mainly from Asia and Africa. Africa and Asiaare zones of the world with high rates of poverty. The congestion dueto high populations and poor economic activities also adds to themisery. The options of better living conditions, better economicopportunities manifesting themselves in foreign domestic work offerthe people of these continents with a chance to improve theirwelfare. Evident are the large number of illegal immigrant who crossthe Mediterranean channel to search for job in Italy, Cyprus, Franceand Spain.
Theease of recruitment of domestic workers due to the non-formal trendthat is followed has made it easier to supply workers to the globaldomestic labour sector. In the developed western countries, thedemand for domestic labour has been linked to the developed welfarein those societies. The feminist political economists in thosecountries have created an alternative to fulfil the caregiver rolesand working life of native women in those states. The need to fulfilthe demands of social provisioning or social reproduction has led tothe demand of domestic labour. The native workers in these countriesare not cost effective hence the option for foreign domestic labour.This in turn fuels the demand for labour from the global domesticsupply that is cost effective. Programs such as the live in caregiver program have also fuelled the supply of the global domesticlabour supply. The migration policies of countries such as Canadahave helped fuel the supply of domestic workers in the global chain.The social capital of Canada has eased the rate at which foreignerscan integrate into the society and provide domestic services.Therefore, the policies have fuelled the global labour supply ofdomestic workers.
2.6. Canadian demand for global domestic labour
Canadiandemand for global domestic labour is fuelled by the high demand fortemporary domestic workers. The native Canadian citizens look downupon the domestic labour sector. The attitude towards the sectorensures that domestic labour is imported. The citizen is quotedsaying, ‘reason for bringing in domestic labour form abroad isbecause it is a very underpaying sector shunned by the locals’
Thewelfare status of Canadian societies dictates that women engage inpaid and formal labour. The above development has led to theimprovement of households in the various states. However, it leaves agap in the domestic zone where there are care-giving, nurturing rolesand house chores. Therefore, need to fulfil these chores by themiddle working class Canadian women have led to the import ofdomestic labour from other countries11.
Thereis a high demand to fulfil the dictates of the social reproduction asstipulated by the working and upper class of the Canadian society.Thetemporary requirements of Canada’s welfare system were set up tofill short term labour demand for skilled, non skilled and seasonalworkers. The workers targeted ranged from sectors such agriculture,live in caregiver programs and the low skill domestic labour sector.The temporary workers are hired on short term contracts without thepossibility of an extension or change of citizenship status. Thetemporary workers program has created a pathway for the increase ofillegal immigrants in the Canadian society. The need for thetemporary labour has led to the development of programs that useglobal domestic labour to fulfil its needs.
3.1 Nationalchildcare program LCP program reliance
Socialreproduction entails the focus on social provisioning and basis onsocial capital to fulfil the needs of the society. The use of socialcapital tool for social leverage and acquisition of interests in themarket have led to the integration and advancement. The nationalchildcare program in Canada has made use of the integration of socialcapital as an important element in social reproduction. The Canadiancontext offers a society that has incorporated both men and women inemployment12.Therefore, the presence of inadequate childcare occurs at a highrate.
Thepublic labour policy in Canada presents both men and women with equalopportunities for employment. The majority of employed women in theCanadian society are those with young children who require adequatechildcare.
Thenotion of a sole breadwinner community society that depends on men asthe sole providers shifted with the restructuring of the Canadianeconomic structures. The analysis of social capital as a tool forpublic labour clearly necessitates the inclusion of domestic areas aszones for economical investment. The earlier assumptions posed by theMarxian schools of thought regarding productive economies thatexcluded social provisioning led to the development of social crisis.The liberal nature of the Canadian society paves the way for theinclusion of family based policies that enable the individual tocreate economic opportunities.
Theopportunities created are with respect to the social reproductionneeds of the society. Care and social provisioning offer anopportunity for the creation of jobs, hence the development caregiverprogram. Reliance on the program by many working class households inCanada has led to the realization of how significant the LCP is inthe society13.The welfare state of Canada allows social reproduction work to besourced and observed as a gender-based element of labour. The abovedevelopment entails the equitable reception of income by women insociety regardless of their residency status.
Themajority of women employed in Canada engage the caregiver services asan alternative means of providing their children with qualitychildcare services. The flexibility, affordable and quality nature ofthe program has developed the program into a formidable element ofthe domestic economy. The prevalence of households where both parentsearn an income has reduced the rate of children born and bred intopoverty. The constant need to maintain such a standard of life hasled to the incorporation of alternative in fulfilling domestic suchas care-giving. The childhood care policy in Canada has been set onthe foundations of accessibility, development, quality anduniversality.
However,the provision of the social services by the government has beeninadequate. The reliance on the live in caregiver program by theterritorial and federal governments as an alternative is aninevitable occurrence.
Statisticsconcerning the childcare policy are represented in the table below:
Child welfare services in Canada
Children under 3 to five years
Children under 3 to five years with working mothers
Licensed childcare centres or zones for every group of 100 children in Quebec
Licensed childcare centres in the whole of Canada excluding Quebec
Financial pledge for childcare facilitation in a five-year period
Canadian $ 5 billion translating to $1 billion per annum
Finances set aside by Quebec for childcare systems in the year 2001
$ 1.1 billion
Theabove statistics were obtained from the Canadian Council for SocialDevelopment.
Theabove statistics show the cost incurred by the states in servicingthe childcare social needs14.The cost to the exchequer is immense hence there is an inadequatesupply of services despite the presence of the licensed childcareservices centres. However, presence of a caregiver program caters forany inadequacy that may arise due to failure in the provision of thechild care services. Further, the presence of an alternative programmeans that the governing authorities have created policies to governthe program and standardize the operations of various stakeholdersinvolved in the provision of the above service.
3.2. Neo-liberalstructuring and the live in caregiver program Canada
Theneo-liberal structure has led to a modification of socialprovisioning with respect to immigrant and the immigration rates toCanada. The presence of goods and services is controlled by thedemand for the commodity. Neo-liberalism focuses on the dependence ofthe market for the delivery of goods and services and the provisionof primary capital to facilitate the processes. LeBaron 2010 opinesthat in Canada, the provincial and federal governments rely on globalcapitalist market for a constant and non-interruptive supply ofsocial capital.
Evidentis the high rate of immigration by citizens of other nations likeSouth Africa, The Philippines, Middle East and larger Africa15.The domestic labour supplied by the immigrants caters for thedelivery of caregiver services with respect to the elderly, childrenand continuous home health care. The financing of the services in thecaregiver sector are done privately and don`t rely on the exchequerfor financing. There is a need for the government to regulate thesector through policy formation and regulations through the socialwelfare and domestic services departments of particular stategovernments.
However,lack of a regulatory body in Canada tasked with overseeing theelements of the caregiver program has led to malpractices, either bythe worker or mistreatment by the employers. The workers are at riskof unfair treatment, underpayment and other ill practices related tolabour. An infringement of personal rights relates the program tovirtual slavery according to the experience of some workers16.Statistics concerning immigration due to the live in caregiverprogram shows that about 3,500 workers entered Canada in the year2002. In the year 1996, the welfare association of Philippine womenin Vancouver reported the presence of 50,000 Filipino women whomigrated to Canada to work in the domestic sector. In Vancouveralone, approximately 5900 women worked in the Lower Mainland zone.
Theeducation levels of the women ranged from tertiary to a sophomorelevel of education with an age bracket of 20 to 36 years. Thetreatment of migrant workers as a subclass or second-class citizenshas further occurred due to failure by the federal government tocreate a national standard that controls or oversees the program.Therefore, the live-in caregiver program changes the status of theworker into underpaid ‘housewives` who act as surrogates. Thepreviously possessed educational skills are deemed useless. Thebureaucracy surrounding the program breaks down professional barriersthat entitle the workers to be treated professionally.
Thelive in caregiver program transforms the workers into virtual slaveswho lack the right to exercise their rights fully. Commoditymodification of the immigrant workers` service has led to thede-skilling of many workers, women who are left to work in privatehomes, households without regulations that can protect them17.Lack of the main federal government regulations targeting the programhas increased the rates of exploitation of the workers by theiremployers. The provincial governing authorities have set measuresthat are aimed at regulating the sector.
However,bureaucracy is a major element in service delivery that leads to thepresence of challenges in the program. The Marxian school of thoughtviews commodity modification as an alienating strategy to obtain aconstant flow of labour in sectors that are undefined18.The Marxists opine that labour is a tool that can be modified to suita social need regardless of the conditions posed. The exploitation ofindividuals in society with limited skills leads to their continuousdependency of a single type of labour due to de-skilling. De-skillingin the caregiver program has led to the formation of ‘independent`citizens who are capable of forming their homes within the Canadiansociety.
However,these workers are unable to secure employment in other areas of theeconomy due to the level of skill or experience possessed. Evidenceconcerning the de-skilling of women and their subsequent exploitationin Canada under the live-in caregiver program clearly show the illsof the live in caregiver program. The domestic workers are absorbedin the program via an ambiguous contract or work condition. Theimplications arising due to ambiguity transforms these workers intoslaves who are unable to seek employment in other sectors of theeconomy due to the nature of their situations. According to MacPhailet al. 2010, in the 20thcentury Canada, households relying on domestic aid recruited theworkers without regard to regulations that the governing structureslacked19.
Althoughthe recruitment was temporary, the challenges were numerous. Hence,the transformation of domestic work into a commodity occurred in themajority of households. Over time, the increase in demand for suchservices has seen a growth in the domestic labour sector. Therefore,the government is necessitated to relate with the households so as toregulate the social services catered for by the domestic immigrantworkers. According to Luxton and Bezanson2006, the creation of a‘free and undefined` labour sector is a as result of the shift inneo-liberal structuring with respect to domestic labour20.The ‘free and undefined` labour market is a sector of the societiesthat have legal rights at their disposal, but are unable to controlthe dynamics of their industry.
Theinability of the workers to own rights or means to regulate thesocial services leads to a clear contradiction of the laws andregulation set by the ILO. The availability of rights to workers inthe caregiver program will lead to the de-modification of thecommodity they offer. Rights such as access to education,professional training, federal loans and civic rights lead todestruction of the labour sub-class.
Neo-liberalistsopine that social rights and supply of social provisions should bedivided to ensure a constant supply of service. The constant supplyof service ensures that modification of services into commodities aidin the development of the society’s economy as a supportiveelement. The reliance on provincial governments by the federalgovernment to provide the social services clearly presents a need todeviate from the liberal tendencies and re-structure the elements.
Thefeminist international political economists restructure theneo-liberal elements to create an all-inclusive sector that includesgovernment relations with the household. The decreased rate ofcommodity modification ensures that child and eldercare services aretransferred from the undefined labour sector to the definitiveprivate but regulated caregiver program sector. Neo-liberalism isdynamic and has an effect on the social reproduction elements of anygiven society. The live in caregiver program in Canada has currentlychanged into a modified commodity with respect to the social sector.
However,the modification has only occurred in upper and middle-classhouseholds that can constantly employ the services of caregivers tocater for their domestic needs. The modification of migrant women inCanada despite its strong welfare status is due to the exploitationof loopholes posed by the restructuring of neo-liberal elements.Various implications arise due to the above development. Thede-skilling element of the caregiver program poses challenges for theinternational labour market regulations. The worker joining theprogram with aspirations of being and independent resident capable ofearning a living from other sectors is unable to do so since theylack the skills to join other sectors. However, the live-in caregiverprogram is poised to face the challenges unless there are policiesset by the federal government to oversee the activities of theindustry.
4.1. Experiencesof workers in the Live in caregiver program
Theexperiences of live-in caregivers vary from worker to worker.However, there have been numerous reports of mistreat, exploitation,disrespect and failure to honour contractual terms by employers.Migrant domestic workers are regulated and managed by both theprovincial government and the individual employer. The legislationand policies set aside to regulate the domestic sector offer minimalprotection to the workers. The policies require that the respectiveemployers house domestic worker for a minimum period of two years.The loopholes created in labour bill by the above policy enables theworkers to be exploited. Exploitation occurs through working overlong and unpaid hours and taking part in non-contractual duties.Further, the workers are vulnerable to sexual, physical and emotionalabuse from their employers.
Theexploitation of workers working period is a common experience facedby the domestic workers. Due to the live in conditions andrequirements, it is difficult to dictate what working hours are whatperiod of leave a worker is entitled to get. Due to the feeling ofobligation, domestic workers are often exploited since they feel theneed to perform a task regardless of what their contract stipulates.An excerpt of an interview captured below shows the above scenario.
“Attimes, I am asked to join the family at the dining table. I amusually not comfortable but oblige due to respect. After the rest ofthe family have had their full, I`m left at the table to collect thedishes, clean up and further clean the dishes. This is acontradiction with the terms stipulated by my contract. Their politerequest is just a way for them to get labour. There is no payment ofovertime. The employer can summon you at any time to engage in housechores of non-contractual duties.”
Theabove excerpt was courtesy of an interview by Sophia.
Sophiaexpressed how employers make workers feel obligated to perform tasksor help regardless of the lack of payment for the days` work done.The above form of exploitation is a common experience of the live-incaregiver program workers. The substandard and poor living conditionsaccorded to the workers by their employers contravene the regulationsof the International Labour Organization. The employment standardsset by the provincial government of Ontario dictate that a worker onhas a single employer.
Theliving conditions range from congested rooms in the basement or atticto noisy rooms with house electronic units. The residency status ofmany workers places them at a high risk of exploitation. Thecitizenship status of migrant workers exposes them to a myriad ofchallenges. Exploitation of workers via use of threats such asdeportation is common. Temporary workers are threatened withdeportation whenever they vouch for their rights. On the expiry ortermination of their contract, the workers are promptly deportedregardless of their remunerative rights.
Therisk disobeying any directives issued by the employer or their kin ismet with threats of contract termination. Therefore, the employeesare forced to obey and yield to their employer`s demands regardlessof their contract. Due to the foreign status of migrant workers, theyare not entitled to immediate immigrant status. The two-yearprobation period gave the employers ample time to exploit theworkers. The live in caregiver program follows migration policies andthe two-year probationary period. However, the migrants have theoption of applying for residency status after lapse of the period.The domestic workers only attain the residency status aftercompletion of the requirements set down by the authorities managingthe program. Further, the option of converting from temporary topermanent residency does not guarantee a raise in wages. The workersare still subjected to poor working conditions, poor wages and lackof benefits. The migrant workers can bring their families once theyestablish bases of their own in the Canadian society.
However,before their establishment, the migrant domestic workers are forcedto leave their families in their native countries. The separationtakes a toll on the emotional welfare of the workers. The employeris also able to monitor and control the mobility of their employeeduring the two-year period they work as live in workers. The aboveelement transforms the workers into temporary slaves that contravenethe regulation of the International Labour Organization. Theimmigrant domestic workers are unable to defend themselves or preventexploitation from their employers. For instance, in the state ofOntario, the immigrant domestic laborers lack the right to labouractivism representation. The lack of being represented by a labourunion offers a loophole through which the workers can be exploitedwithout repercussions to their employers. The Ontario LabourRelations only caters for the welfare of the employer than theemployee. The workers are unable to report any form if mistreatmentmeted towards them since they lack the proper structures to follow.The live in conditions stipulated by the domestic labour act alsomakes it difficult to control the rate at which exploitation mayoccur.
Thelive in requirement makes it hard for the workers to form unions thatwould cater for their grievances since they lack the element ofcongregation. Due to their residency status and push for citizenship,they are unable to campaign for their rights due to fear of reprisalsfrom the authorities and employers21.Therefore, domestic employees are only keen not to upset the statusquo at the expenses of their welfare. The employees put up with thepoor working conditions and mistreatment or exploitation due to lackof unionization and inability to congregate.
5.1 TheFeminist Global International Economy
Socialreproduction entails social provisioning as part of fulfilling theneeds of various traditionally unpaid jobs in society that arecurrently part of the main income generative economy. However, thefeminist political hold the view that provisioning of the needs insociety should be done in combination with the elements of welfare.Welfare in this instance is the focus on the well-being of theindividual and his ability to access all the social structures insociety at the most basic level. The feminist political approach tosocial reproduction offers a deviation from the neo –liberaleconomic model. The neo-liberal economic model contrasts sharply withthe feminist political, economic view due to its focus on the growth,service and accumulation of economic mass and power as its mainobjective.
Thefocus on gender as a definitive element in the control of thedynamics of a particular economy has led to the development of theabove feminist political economy. The basis of the economy on genderleads to a focus on the experiences of women and men in terms offamily, society and individual. The feminist political economy usesneo-liberalism as a base for its factors and expresses theneo-liberal assumptions to suit the gender element. Use of thepolitical, economic approach integrates the whole society in theidentification of social relations with respect to the economicsystem of production.
AccordingFine 2001, the analysis of social relations ensures all factorsrelated to production in society with respect to the economy are allinclusive of both genders22.Social reproduction couples the political and social structures andhow each interrelates with each other. The main focus of the feministpolitical economy approach on women includes all the factors thatalso affect men in the society. The division of labour along genderlines occurs from a Marxian school of thought that perpetuated men asthe sole providers in a given economy. Stereotypes concerning thecare-giving and nurturing roles of women in society have led to lessinvolvement by men in the live-in caregiver program.
However,the notion of subordination of women to men in society has beengreatly opposed by the feminist political economists. The globalcapitalist movement has been a major driver in the pursuance of anequitable society for both genders. In the feminist internationalpolitical economy, the inclusion of gender in its elements posesgender as a neutral factor. The gender perspective leads to theformation of a gender neutral economy one that is structured on theequitable inclusion of both genders in the analysis of a giveneconomy. Focus of economics on the macro level leads to the creationof gender with elements such as a gender-based salary and wage systemand a gender-based decision-making process.
Themacro level of feminist international political economy alsoincorporates a gender-based virtual economy that relates with thegovernment and allows it`s to play a role in the control and build upof the economy. The gender-based feminist economy advocates for therule of law, equitable participation and access to activities by bothgenders, equitable share of incentives and participation in thedecision-making process23.The feminist international political economy also focuses itsmicroeconomic level on the gender. The approach ensures there is anequitable distribution of work, responsibilities, resources and afair decision-making process. The micro level includes the personallevels at home, institution or the domestic front.
Feministeconomics focuses on the social provisioning in society and theirorganizational ability. The organizational ability in this context isthe sustaining capability of the society in order to maintain andprovide a fulfilling and successful life. An economy`s strength ismeasured by its ability to sustain the lives of its citizens. Thesocial provisioning concept is also the focus of many sceptics withrespect to the neo-liberal school of thought. Neo-liberalism`s focuson the market as a productive element of society is misleading.
Accordingto Brooks, 2005, the neo-liberal thought on the success of the marketis misleading since it opines that the market is successful withoutthe inclusion of the governing authorities24.Currently, neo-liberal structures have only focused on the amassingof wealth in countries which they believe is a sign of a dwindlingeconomy. The dwindling of the economy is not with respect to failureof the economy, rather on the disability of the economy to fulfil thesocial provisioning demand. Therefore, social reproduction is notviewed by the neo-liberalists as a part of the economy since theelement cannot show the tangibility of its wealth.
Theincrease in the gap between the poor and middle classes is a factorthat neo-liberalism considers. Feminist international politicaleconomists opine that the combination of various reframed elements ofthe previous Keynesian and Marxian schools of thought leads to asuccessful all inclusive economy. Neo-liberalist holds the thoughtthat the individual motivation occurs due to self-interest. Theneo-liberalists exclude the various behaviours such as love, duty,selflessness, altruism that also lend to the core of the caregiverprogram. The neo-liberalist views such behaviours as part of thenon-generative market sector. The non-income generative market sectorincludes elements of society such as human care-giving. The humancare-giving role was traditionally a role designated to the woman insociety. In the feminist political economy, the inclusion of theabove behaviours leads to the creation of an economic model that hasincluded the previous reframed elements of old schools of thought.
Thefeminist international economists focus on the poverty-wealth gap inthe neo-liberal context and reframe the factor. The feministinternational economists reframe the lack of wealth and high povertyrate as a disadvantage due to lack of the following reasons:
The lack of an income.
A lack of basic needs.
The lack of equal opportunities in society in acquiring wealth.
The presence of a stratified society that makes it hard for individuals from breaking the class barrier.
Hence,social provisioning is affected by the poverty levels in a particulareconomy. Therefore, the lack of adequately provisioning in societywith relation to social reproduction can also be as a result of manyfactors. In the Canadian contexts, factors such as homophobia,inequality in social interactions, racism, religious differences andcultural discriminations can affect the adequate delivery of socialprovisioning in society.
However,the basis of economical constraints on the single factor of povertyis fundamentally wrong. The relation of feminist economics to povertyis based on the fact that women are forced to abandon their owncareer ambitions and personal growth so as to stay at home and caterfor the family through a care-giver role25.The burden placed on women`s shoulders with respect to their roles innurturing the family and securing their lives leads to a mode ofeconomic survival. The manifestation of the live in caregiver programas an element of the feminist international political economy is agood example of the application of the feminist internationalpolitical-economic views.
6.1 SocialRelations And Capitalism
Socialrelations and capitalism evolve around the changes external changesand forces that govern the dynamics of any given market in society.The contradictions between the global capitalist elements and theresultant consequences create a new path for the development of theeconomy. Capitalist opine that class is influenced by the socialrelationship process that also dictates the amount of social capitalor labour available in the market. Voluntary salaried labourcomplements a market through the provision of surplus or excesslabour despite the demand rates. Capitalismmerges with the social structures in the society to form a socialcapitalist society26.The social capitalist society is signified by the factors that jointhe labour-wage hence creating a labour relationship. The presence ofexcess labour has led to the creation of a free wage sector thataccepts any wage that is offered even below the required marketstandards.
Thehuman capital theory opines that humans sell their abilities in themarket with potential buyers. The market then allows them to conductbusiness in the means stipulated by the potential buyer. However, theworker chooses his employer through free will. This occurs due to thepresence of excess labour where demand is surpassed by the supply.Social capitalism creates a relationship that prevents the occurrenceof feudalism. However,presence of neo-liberal structures ina society coupled with the social reproduction needs createloopholes.Feudalismis the opposite of social relations built on capitalism. Theloopholes created occur inform of the virtual slavery where theworkers’ rights are infringed.Neo-classical economists rate the market to be perfect if the entireplayers are equal and competition is fair. The perfect market alsoinsists on the lack of influence over prices by the either of themarket players, providing an environment where both individuals canbuy and sell without exploitation.
7. CHAPTER SEVEN
Inorder to aid in the analysis and to answer the research questions,the research paper will base its study and sample analysis from thevarious federal websites that carry social information concerning thelive-in caregiver program. Scholarly articles concerning the topicunder research shall also be used to obtained essential data for theanalysis. The use of postal questionnaires targeting both theemployees and employers will be sent to various states via use of thenetwork set by the social services departments of various states. Theauthenticity of the data collected will be enhanced by the use ofsimilar questions to prevent bias in the study. Magazines, journals,articles and scholarly reviews concerning the effects of socialreproduction with respect to the live in caregiver program shall alsobe used.
Theuse of randomly answered questionnaires in the locality will also beused. This will ensure that the methodology is cost effective enoughto include a wide base of data. The standardization of questions willbe done to prevent prejudice of the information in the researchpaper. Each and every respondent will answer a given set ofquestions some with multiple choices and blank question choices. Theopen question choices will analyze the respondent`s answers in termsof support or rejection of the question asked.
Thepresence of closed questions in the questionnaire will offer theimpression that the researcher is unable to interpret the meaning ofthe answers acquired after the exercise. However, avoiding such anoccurrence will be done by structuring the question in certainsections to obtain the ‘yes/no` or ‘not sure` answers. Ambiguousanswers in any question will also lead to cancellation of thequestion.
Thepossibility of acquiring large data samples or sets shall be eased bythe availability of repetition of the questionnaires. Use of a singlequestionnaire will reduce the costs associated with circulatingdifferent questionnaires and the amount of time wasted ininterpreting data obtained. The ease of repetition will offer thepossibility of acquiring a response from a large number of people dueto the large volume of data that will be obtained. To access datafrom a wide area, the combination of the postal and hand outquestionnaires will be ideal.
7.2 Research Design
Theresearch paper will use both the qualitative and quantitativetechniques to analyze the data samples collected. The quantitativetechniques will offer an inquisitive approach method that willsuitable in establishing the nature of the program based on thefollowing
The experiences of the live-in caregivers in the program with respect to racial disparities, unfair treatment and suitability of the program.
The views of the employers on the caregivers and their ratings on the service delivery of the caregivers.
The rates of immigration with respect to the availability of jobs within the caregiver program in Canada.
The effects of policies arising as a result of the program.
Thesuitability of the inquisitive and numerical model approach is due tothe nature of its investigative ability. The above ability ensuresthat all factors are put into consideration, hence producing aresearch paper that has been adequately documented. The use of Postalquestionnaires was used to obtain the views of the workers regardingtheir experiences at work. The same questionnaires were also used toobtain the views of the employers ratings concerning the rate ofservice delivery.
Thequestionnaires issued via post targeted a minimum of 300 employers,and 300 caregivers spread out over three states. The handoutquestionnaires prepared were 500 and targeted members of the localand adjacent community who could receive the questionnaires via handdelivery. The questionnaires were divided into three sections. Theclarity and easy structures of the questionnaires make the questionseasy to grasp and answer. The length, format, paper size and colourare factors that were considered while drafting the questionnaires.Protection of employer and employee identity will regard to theirviews will be of significant importance.
7.3 Data Collection
Thestudy sample comprised of a single set of data sourced from theCanadian state of Quebec. All the caregivers and employers sourced toparticipate in the program were from Quebec or currently residing inQuebec over a long period and engaging in the program. The use ofpostal questionnaires to collect sample of information was importantsince it offered and effective means in cutting costs as analternative of manual sampling. The time spent collecting datamanually via use transport systems would have eaten into the timespent to analyze the data. Liaison with the social departments ofvarious states also made it easier to use their structures inobtaining information concerning the program. The importance of thefindings of the research paper is also fundamental to the statedepartment in charge of social services.
Theanonymous nature employed via use of questionnaires gives therespondents the desired privacy they need, ensuring that data isobtained from a large number of people from various classes. Thenature of anonymity also gives the respondent a feel of insecuritysince they will not be victimized based their personal views.Further, the respondents are more willing to reveal more informationgenuinely without fear of repercussions. Due to the large number ofrespondents, the researcher will not have the ability to influencethe findings or results obtained from the questionnaires. Primarydata will, therefore, be sourced from the use of the abovestructures. Authenticity of data obtained from authentic websiteswill be done through the marking of internet data with the source.
Variouschallenges were observed when conducting the study. Bureaucracy insocial departments concerning the use of their structures led to atug of war concerning the release of public related information. Thebulk of questionnaires produced meant that a lot of time would bewasted checking for any errors that may have arisen during theproduction. However, the use of proper grammar and structure analysissoftware aided the production of precise and properly draftedquestionnaires.
Anotherchallenge was arriving at a suitable sample size and value toquantify or qualify a particular of answer for certain questionsasked. Large sample sizes prove donate authenticity and validity tothe research exercise. However, the amount of time involved in thepreparation of the questionnaires, the logistics also involved provecostly to the whole exercise. To avoid collapse of the wholeexercise, the pilot study will use of a similar number ofquestionnaires, 300 for employers and 300 for employees is used. The1000 questionnaires structured for the local and close adjacentcommunity was to obtain general data concerning the live in caregiverprogram regardless of use of the social service.
Itis conclusive to note that the methodology is the centre of theresearch. The findings of the methodology aid in interpreting thesuccess and effects of the research topic through qualitative andquantitative methods.
8. CHAPTER EIGHT8.1 Results From Pilot Sample Studies.
Theresults clearly show that the live in caregiver program occur as aresult of the manifestation of the struggles of social reproduction.It is evident that the dependency on the live in caregiver servicesis due to the lack of the parents` availability in providing care fortheir children. With respect to eldercare, the lack of time onworking classes and transformation of upper classes through commoditymodification has increased demand for the social provisioningservice. The idea of having an alternative caregiver service insociety also enables parents to indulge in various economicallyimportant activities and leisure. Leisure is an important element ofthe programs` sustainability that also ensures it will be part ofCanada`s society for a long period.
Despitethe challenges associated with the program, the supportive nature itlends to the society`s economy is significant. The presence ofCanadian households with both adults being employed is a commonoccurrence. As a result, the time spent at home care giving islimited.Of the 300 postal questionnaires sent to the employingrespondents, only 253 responded. That translates to a response rateof (78%) that can be termed as a successful survey. Of the 300 postalquestionnaires targeting the workers, an 80% rate of response wasrecorded. Based on the 253 who responded through the questionnaires,205(81%) of the respondents held the opinion that the live-incaregiver program has offered good economic opportunities in thesociety.
Theability of the caregiver program to cater to needs arising due tosocial reproduction demands was also noted. Among the randomlyselected respondents, 743(96%) agreed that the live in caregiverprogram had a huge significance on the economy of the society. Thisoccurs as a support to families whose women are employed and takepart in the development of other economic sectors that are notrelated to the traditional domestic roles historically designated forwomen.
Onthe other hand, 10(4%) of the employers said they were unsure aboutthe live in caregiver program and what an important role it played insociety. They also questioned the role of the program in societysince they only viewed it a menace in the Canadian society due to theinflux of immigrants. The respondents also viewed the live incaregiver program as a program that increases the rate of competitionin the job market. That is without to the notion that the domesticcaregiver services is viewed are jobs for low-skilled and unskilledworkers jobs that they would rather not engage in. In addition, themajority of those who responded were aged between 25 and 44, with theage group 25-34 at 30.8% and 35-44 at 21.3%. This is a total of 52.1%of the young population being the greatest users.
However,there was a response from a negligible group the 50 and above agegroup who form the upper-class users of the live in caregiverprogram. The above statistics are an indication that the majority ofthe groups who use the live in caregiver program are part of themiddle working class in society. According to Kaufman, Robert, andSegura-Ubiergo 2001, the middle class also hold the power to swaymarket dynamics in terms of frequent market spending27.Of those that approved the program, and its elements noted theimportance that the program posed as part of the Canadian socialreproduction system.
Inaddition, there were a large number of respondents randomly picked inthe local and adjacent community to fill the 1000 questionnairestargeting the community response. Due to the large number ofrespondents the lack of knowledge of respondents on the use of theprogram or ambiguity, the analysis based the results as part of thecommunity opinion concerning the program. The questionnaires alsoasked about the strategic decision and actions that can be used toimprove the programs. The responses were then will then be used aspart of the future literature in future research projects carried outon the live in caregiver program and its social reproductionconnection. Both the employers and employees were required to givetheir opinion on how best the program would work for them. The needto formulate policies with respect to the program was a part of thequestionnaire.
Policyformulation was put in two sections. The general opinion sectionqualifies the elements of the program. The quantifying section ofpolicy formulation shows the need in numerical terms for thegovernment to formulate policies that guide and protect the worker.The need to have a federal regulatory body ensures that all workersare accorded rights enabling them to enjoy similar remunerativepackages and conditions similar to other sectors of labour. Theeffects of the program on society related to social and culturalstructures were also noted in the questionnaires. The elements notedthat the tendency towards xenophobia was rampant. From the results,it is evident that the community still views immigrant workers in theprogram as intrusive although the native fail to provide the requiredlabour to service the domestic and social provisioning needs.
Insummary, the results represent a major chunk of the informationfocused on in the literature review. It is conclusive to note thatthe live-in caregiver program has not been properly researched toestablish the full effects of the program in the Canadian society.However, its occurrence as a manifestation of the social reproductionstruggles is an inevitable factor. Further, its growth has beenperpetuated by the need of the service in the Canadian society.
Thesocial reproduction context is an element of society that controlsthe majority of the social needs that currently determine the economyof any society. It is conclusive to note that social or classstratification in the Canadian society has led to the creation ofalternative sectors or the realisation of the sectors. The sectors,in this case, the domestic labour sector has created an economicopportunity and the growth of culture and society due to thecongregation of various ethnic groups.
Theresearch paper clearly notes the social provisioning elements thatoccur as a result of demands. Pilot study data also shows how thelive in caregiver program developed as a result of the socialreproductions` struggles. The lack of information regardingparticular areas of the topic poses a need to conduct furtherresearch with respect to social reproduction and human labour.
Further,it is fundamental to note that social provisioning is a major elementof social provisioning that requires fulfilment.
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1 Bakker, Isabella, and Stephen Gill, eds. Power, production and social reproduction: human in/security in the global political economy. Palgrave Macmillan, 2003.
2 Estes, Carroll L., Simon Biggs, and Chris Phillipson. Social theory, social policy and ageing: A critical introduction. Open University Pr, 2003.
3 Banerjee, Rupa. Employment Disadvantage of Immigrants and Visible Minorities: Evidence from Three Canadian Surveys. Pro-Quest, 2008.
4 Bair, Jennifer. "Global capitalism and commodity chains: looking back, going forward." Competition & Change 9, no. 2 (2005): 153-180.
5 Raven hill, John, ed. Global political economy. Oxford University Press, 2014.
6 Krahn, Harvey, Karen D. Hughes, and Graham S. Lowe. Work, industry, and Canadian society. Cengage Learning, 2010.
7 Luke, Allan. "Documenting reproduction and inequality: Revisiting Jean Anyon`s “Social class and school knowledge”." Curriculum inquiry 40, no. 1 (2010): 167-182.
9 Luxton, Meg. "Feminist political economy in Canada and the politics of social reproduction." Social reproduction: Feminist political economy challenges neo-liberalism (2006): 11-44.
10 Lutz, Helma. "At your service madam! The globalization of domestic service." Feminist review 70, no. 1 (2002): 89-104.
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13 Hodge, Jarrah. "Unskilled Labour”: Canada`s Live-in Caregiver Program." Undercurrent 3, no. 2 (2006): 60-66.
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24 Brooks, Kate. "Social capital: analysing the effect of a political perspective on the perceived role of government in community prosperity." Rural Society 17, no. 3 (2007): 231-247.
25 Luxton, Meg. "Feminist political economy in Canada and the politics of social reproduction." Social reproduction: Feminist political economy challenges neo-liberalism (2006): 11-44.
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