Celebrating invisibility
Live-in Romanian badanti caring for the elderly in southeast Italy
in Intimacy and mobility in an era of hardening borders
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The chapter explores the multiple worlds in which migrants live while working as badanti, live-in home careworkers for the elderly in an average-sized town in southeast Italy. The chapter focuses on descriptions of day-to-day activities of migrant careworkers but also on spectacular events such as the organisation of ‘The Party of the Counter Hour,’ an event set up by the protagonist of this chapter, a Romanian careworker, with support from a local Italian cultural association and the author. The central argument of the chapter is that the juxtaposition of different regimes of life and work makes explicit the clash within the experience of migrant careworkers’ worlds. In Italy, migrants inhabit the houses of their employers, but paradoxically, live in separate worlds from these. At the same time, while in Italy, migrant careworkers constantly think of and invest in a particular household and extended kin group in Romania. These long term economic, financial, and moral ties make even more visible the multiple worlds in which migrants live while working as badanti in Italy.

Intimacy and mobility in an era of hardening borders

Gender, reproduction, regulation

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