Care Activism

Migrant Domestic Workers, Movement-Building, and Communities of Care
Author: Ethel Tungohan
Care-based activism in the words and experiences of people creating it and living it
Cloth – $110
Paper – $28
eBook – $19.95
Publication Date
Paperback: 08/15/2023
Cloth: 08/15/2023
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About the Book

Care activism challenges the stereotype of downtrodden migrant caregivers by showing that care workers have distinct ways of caring for themselves, for each other, and for the larger transnational community of care workers and their families. Ethel Tungohan illuminates how the goals and desires of migrant care worker activists goes beyond political considerations like policy changes and overturning power structures. Through practices of subversive friendships and being there for each other, care activism acts as an extension of the daily work that caregivers do, oftentimes also instilling practices of resistance and critical hope among care workers. At the same time, the communities created by care activism help migrant caregivers survive and even thrive in the face of arduous working and living conditions and the pains surrounding family separation. As Tungohan shows, care activism also unifies caregivers to resist society’s legal and economic devaluations of care and domestic work by reaffirming a belief that they, and what they do, are important and necessary.

About the Author

Ethel Tungohan is an assistant professor of politics and social science at York University.


"In this poignant and imperative volume, Ethel Tungohan explores how deeply and distinctly migrant worker communities care for themselves and one another. In so doing, they demonstrate radical resistance and critical hope." --Ms. Magazine


“A fascinating read. The way the author tells the stories, braiding histories and contemporary resonances together, creates an imaginative and successful narrative of care activism in Canada and transnationally. Tungohan underscores that, regardless of the vision and underlying motives of migrant care worker movements, they are invested in caring for one another. Her book shows us that perhaps activism isn’t at all separate from caring and that perhaps radical care can and should be a part of radical movement building.”--Valerie Francisco-Menchavez, author of The Labor of Care: Filipina Migrants and Transnational Families in the Digital Age

“Ethel Tungohan argues that social movement organizations succeed because their members care not only about the issues but also about each other. Drawing upon extensive global observation, she details how domestic workers cultivate critical hope and press for greater justice.”--Joan C. Tronto, author of Who Cares? How to Reshape a Democratic Politics


•  Short-List, Donald Smiley Prize, 2024