Chapter published in:Identity Struggles: Evidence from workplaces around the world
Edited by Dorien Van De Mieroop and Stephanie Schnurr
[Discourse Approaches to Politics, Society and Culture 69] 2017
► pp. 427–444
‘We’re only here to help’
Identity struggles in foreign domestic helper narratives
This chapter draws on a large corpus of life stories of foreign domestic helpers (FDHs) in Hong Kong. Narratives were recorded at a church shelter that provides temporary accommodation to domestic workers, and the analyses focus on the identity struggles the women are engaged in. They have to accept an enforced identity as maids, who cannot even claim the right to be respected as human beings, but they are also struggling to claim a positive identity as ‘helpers’ who are in Hong Kong to serve God and their families. The chapter argues that the women’s identity as Christian servants allows them to overcome their hardships. It also argues that scholars need to pay attention to how FDHs label themselves. It considers the women’s testimonies about themselves and it argues that marginalised groups should label themselves in ways that are meaningful to them.
Keywords: foreign domestic helper, enforced identity, marginalisation, Biblical testimonies, religious identity, linguistic labelling
Published online: 26 April 2017
Augoustinos, Martha, Ian Walker, and Ngaire Donaghue
Becker, Tabea, and Uta M. Quasthoff
Beran, Eszter, and Zsolt Unoka
Brown, Catrina, and Tod Augusta-Scott
Chiu, Stephen W. K.
Duvall, Jim, and Laura Béres
Hogg, Michael, and Dominic Abrams
Huang, Shirlina, Peggy Teo, and Brenda S. A. Yeoh
Ladegaard, Hans J.
Lan, Pei C.
Lanza, Elizabeth, and Hirut Woldemarian
Lin, Angel M. Y.
McInnes, Peter, and Sandra Corlett
Medved, Maria I., and Jens Brockmeier
Milani, Tommaso M.
Parreñas, R. S.
Paul, Anju M.
Cited by other publications
Ladegaard, Hans J.
This list is based on CrossRef data as of 30 december 2020. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.