JOPOL 7(2022)

“I need her more than she needs me”: An Intersectional Approach to Privilege, Marginalization and Power Asymmetries within a Brazilian Domestic Labor Context
Kellie Gonçalves

The aim of this article is to shed light on a historical moment in time within postcolonial Brazil and attempts to understand the consequences of the New Domestics Workers Law, by means of a case study among one middle-class female employer and her working-class female employee within a rural village in the State of Minas Gerais. The Nova Lei passed in 2013 aims to provide equal rights and legal protection to domestic workers nationally. Drawing on interviews and ethnographic observations, this study employs the theoretical concept of intersectionality highlighting the mutually constitutive axes of power at play between employer and employee and the ways in which investigating gendered, raced, aged and social class identity performances allow for a better understanding of the complex social processes surrounding both privilege and marginalization.

Keywords: domestic workers, Brazil, intersectionality, performance, privilege, marginalization, feminine-gendered labor