Elizabeth Quay HutchisonSep 12, 2022
Workers Like All the Rest of Them
Domestic Service and the Rights of Labor in Twentieth-Century Chile
Duke University Press 2022
Leah Cargin (Ph.D student, University of Oklahoma) speaks with Elizabeth Quay Hutchison (Professor, University of New Mexico) about Hutchison’s recent book, Workers Like All the Rest of Them: Domestic Service and the Rights of Labor in Twentieth-Century Chile (Duke University Press, 2021).
In this episode, Leah Cargin invites Elizabeth Hutchison to consider the long-term influences that have shaped her personal and professional interests in Latin American history and gender history, and to reflect on how these commitments led to this recent book. Hutchison introduces us to a few of the cooks, nannies, gardeners, and housekeepers who mobilized for recognition as workers in twentieth-century Chile, including Doña Elba Bravo and Aída Moreno Valenzuela. Rooted in oral histories with leaders and allies of the domestic service workers’ movement, Hutchison analyzes how changing constructions of domestic service labor impacted women’s work in this underpaid and under-regulated sector over the course of the twentieth century. The ‘living archive’ of activists’ testimony, in combination with congressional and associational records, enables Hutchison to narrate large-scale social and political change in Chile, centering the perspective of women domestic workers, and showcasing the alliances they forged with leadership in the Catholic Church, left-wing political organizations, and feminist organizations. Throughout this conversation, Hutchison observes the obligations and rewards of politically- and socially-engaged scholarship.