Care for Sale Talk 2nd December 2019


Published by Harriet Phipps

Tuesday, October 8th, 2019

Care for Sale 

Ana P. Gutiérrez Garza 

Lecturer in Social Anthropology, University of St Andrews 

Monday 2nd December 2019 

Lancaster University Bowland North SR05, 14.00-16.00 

In homes and brothels around the world, migrant women are selling a unique commodity: care. In this talk, Dr Gutiérrez will introduce some of the main ideas in her recently published study, Care for Sale (OUP). The book provides an in-depth ethnography of a group of middle-class women from Latin America who exchange care and intimacy for money, while working as domestic and sex workers in London. Illuminating the complexities of care work, the talk considers how women’s experience of migration and intimate labour is one of rupture that both enables and forces them to gradually reconstitute themselves, in their host cities, as people quite distinct from their “normal” selves back home. It will explore some of the factors that contribute to migrant women choosing either domestic or sex work, including their concerns about money and morality. Moving away from a narrow focus on migration and labour to look instead at the creation and (re)creation of persons; and at how people fashion themselves and cultivate difference, inequality, or commonality as part of their self-making projects, the book shows migrants not only as economic actors, but also as individuals involved in an intimate process that constantly modifies their sense of morality and personhood. 

Ana P. Gutiérrez Garza received her PhD in Anthropology from the London School of Economics in 2014, upon which the book is based. She has also done research on cooperation and inequality in Oklahoma with Hispanic migrant families. From 2015 to 2018 she was part of the ESRC-funded project ‘An Ethnography of Advice: Between Market, Society and the Declining Welfare State’, which analysed the place of advice within the rapid dismantling of the Spanish welfare state. 

Dr Melissa Fernandez Arrigoitia (Lecturer in Urban Futures, Sociology Department) will Chair the event and lead the discussion, and Dr Michael Lambert (Postdoctoral Fellow at the Centre for Alternatives to Social and Economic Inequalities, Sociology Department) will be a respondent. 

We would welcome all those in the department and the university who have researched in the field or who have an interest in this areas, to come along and contribute to the conversation. So please be prepared to join in and contribute to what we hope to be a lively discussion. 

The event is free, but unfortunately places are limited. If you would like to come, please confirm your attendance by contacting Michael Lambert (Centre for Alternatives to Social and Economic Inequalities) via 

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