Beyond the reach of ethics and equity? Depersonalisation and dehumanisation in foreign domestic helper narratives

Hans LADEGAARD

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper analyses narratives told by foreign domestic helpers (FDHs) in a Hong Kong church shelter. The narratives provide evidence that FDHs appear to be untouched by the ethics and equity of Hong Kong society. They are denied the rights that apply to other groups: the right to eat, rest and talk; they are humiliated and denigrated, and the analyses show that this treatment may affect their self-perception. The paper considers local stereotypes and ideological representations as a possible cause for legitimising the exploitation of FDHs, and it recommends that researchers become engaged in social activism in the attempt to help FDHs rewrite their narratives of repression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-59
Number of pages16
JournalLanguage and Intercultural Communication
Volume13
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2013

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Communication
  • Linguistics and Language

User-Defined Keywords

  • depersonalisation and dehumanisation
  • foreign domestic helpers
  • moral exclusion
  • narratives

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