Psychosocial Benefits and Costs of Activism among Female Migrant Domestic Workers in Southern Spain

Referencia: Aceros, J. C., Duque, T. & Paloma, V. (2021). Psychosocial benefits and costs of activism among female migrant domestic workers in Southern Spain. Journal of Community Psychology.

Resumen: Economic migrant women often experience oppressive living and working conditions in the receiving societies. Activism is a liberatory behavior these women may employ to transform such situations. This study explores the activism experience of female migrant domestic workers from Latin America settled in southern Spain, in terms of its psychosocial benefits and costs. A purposeful sample of eleven activist migrant women engaged in a grassroots organization of domestic workers and eight members of social organizations supporting their activities were interviewed in-depth individually. After a qualitative content analysis approach to the data, the study presents activism as a community engagement behavior with benefits such as the strengthening of social ties, sense of community, opportunities for sharing stories of oppression, and psychological empowerment. Activism also emerged as a demanding activity requiring high investments in time by activists and producing interpersonal conflicts, hopelessness, and burnout in some cases. Such costs may pose limits to its potential to produce well-being and liberation, implying challenges for research, intervention, and activism sustainability.

Palabras clave: Activism, Domestic workers, Migrant women, Psychosocial outcomes.

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