Masculinities & paid domestic-care labour in India


This article focuses on male domestic-care workers (MDCWs) in India. It explores how constructed notions of masculinity interplay with labour market structures, enable forms of labour discipline and shape labour subjectivities. The article details performative and embodied gendered practices engaged in by MDCWs, illuminates the interplay of spatial and temporal aspects of paid domestic-care work with gendered skill sets and labour roles, and connects the differentiated masculinities performed by MDCWs to the broader political economy of domestic-care labour. It also highlights how MDCWs utilise their gender to express degrees of agency vis-à-vis employers and others. The article argues that MDCWs perform masculinities in variegated ways in the face of stigma, marginalisation, and relations of servitude. These performances are not devoid of agency, but are commoditised within the political economy of the domesticcare sector and are framed within patriarchal gender norms as ‘protective care’ or as work requiring other masculine attributes.

Attached files


Chambers, Thomas
Grover, Shalini


Hosting Institutions: International Inequalities Institute

Oxford Brookes departments

School of Law and Social Sciences


Year of publication: 2023
Date of RADAR deposit: 2023-07-18


British Academy (ISNI: 0000 0004 0411 8698) : BA/Leverhulme Small Research Grants Awards (SRG21\210050)



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