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August 10 , 2009

Intimate Labors

Cultures, Technologies, and the Politics of Care


What do home health aides, call center operators, prostitutes, sperm donors, nail manicurists, and housecleaners have in common? Around the world, they make their livings through touch, closeness, and personal care. Their labors, both paid and unpaid, sustain the day-to-day work that we require to survive. This book takes a close look at carework, domestic work, and sex work in everyday life and illuminates the juncture where money and intimacy meet.

Intimate labor is presented as a comprehensive category of investigation into gender, race, class, and other power relations in the context of global economic transformations. In chronicling the history of intimate labor in light of the rise and devolution of welfare states, women's workforce participation, family formation, the expansion of sex work into new industries, and the development of institutions for dependent people, this wide-ranging reader advances debates over the relationship between care and economy.

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