ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Nilanjana SenguptaSubscribe to Nilanjana Sengupta

Bargaining over Wages

Focusing on wage determination, this paper looks at the various economic, social and cultural dimensions that enter the calculation of the wage and bargaining around it. Given the specificity of paid domestic work in urban employment, this study argues that both the supply of labour and negotiation of the wage are as much influenced by ideologies of feminine domesticity, performance of work in familial spaces and the social construction of skill, on the one hand, as by competition and lack of alternative opportunities and social security, on the other. In exploring the process of bargaining, it critically examines the role of recruitment agencies and unionisation. While the former becomes simply a "middleman", the latter moves at a slow pace caught between the dual role of organiser and employer.

Marriage, Work and Education among Domestic Workers in Kolkata

This paper analyses the findings of a research project undertaken by the School of Women's Studies, Jadavpur University on questions of marriage and related issues in the context of paid domestic work among the working women from two squatter colonies in Kolkata. The respondents are seen to be caught between the imperatives of early marriage and girlhood employment, but they insist upon the value of education for their daughters. Many of them have experienced and suffered early marriage and childbirth and are vehement in their rejection of such a trajectory for their daughters, even though not all of them are able to carry through such decisions. Parents from urban working-class neighbourhoods are not obsessed with sexual chastity of their daughters; they accept courtships and elopements, sometimes hailing the latter with some relief. What these mothers share with their middle class counterparts is an interest in tremendous investment in their children's education, which is in both cases accompanied by great expectations for the future.
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