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From Brain Drain to Care Drain: Womens Labor Migration and Methodological Sexism

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Document pages: 10 pages

Abstract: The metaphor of “care drain” has been created as a womanly parallel to the “brain drain” idea. Just as “brain drain” suggests that the skilled migrants are an economic loss for the sending country, “care drain” describes the migrant women hired as care workers as a loss of care for their children left behind. This paper criticizes the construction of migrant women as “care drain” for three reasons: 1) it is built on sexist stereotypes, 2) it misrepresents and devalues care work, and 3) it misses the opportunity for a theoretical change about how skills in migration contexts can be understood.

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