Of Rasoi ka Kaam/Bathroom ka Kaam: Perspectives of Women Domestic Workers

By Sonal Sharma
Economic & Political Weekly, 13 February 2016

Practices of purity and pollution have been a critical area of inquiry in paid domestic work relations in India. This paper revisits the idea of purity and pollution in the space of the home in paid domestic work, but with the intent to turn the gaze around. It shifts the focus by looking at workers as the subjects and examining their responses. It argues that the existing frameworks for looking at the space of home and the practices of purity and pollution are limiting and have to be revisited to develop a dynamic understanding of the everyday reality of domestic work and caste hierarchies at work.