L’interazione quotidiana con l’altro. Le donne migranti e il lavoro di cura
| STUDI DI SOCIOLOGIA - 2007 - 4
In Italy many immigrant women work in domestic services and they replace the role of
Italian women not only in typical domestic chores but also in taking care of the elderly and people
with disabilities. This article explores the relation between immigrant women and aged people
whom they take care of, starting from the point that in everyday life the social distance
between Italian and immigrants could become shorter and shorter. The research is based on indeep interviews to immigrant domestic workers who work and live with Italian aged people.
Referring to E. Goffman, the focus is on the organization of setting inside the house, the invasion
of territories of the Self, the type of communication and the language used, the existence of
a stage and a backstage. The findings point out that immigrant women enter into a close relation
with the Italian elderly: they become a sort of family member and they get involved in a
relation which is outside of the domestic work and which implies a high level of empathy.