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Cleaning up : a sociological investigation into the use of outsourced housecleaning services

dc.contributor.advisorHeinecken, Lindyen_ZA
dc.contributor.advisorVorster, Janen_ZA
dc.contributor.authorDu Toit, Daviden_ZA
dc.contributor.otherStellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dept. of Sociology and Social Anthropology.en_ZA
dc.date.accessioned2020-02-25T07:23:42Z
dc.date.accessioned2020-04-28T12:15:03Z
dc.date.available2020-02-25T07:23:42Z
dc.date.available2020-04-28T12:15:03Z
dc.date.issued2020-03
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/108026
dc.descriptionThesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2020.en_ZA
dc.description.abstractENGLISH ABSTRACT: The nature of paid domestic work is changing. Where the shift from full-time, live-in and live-out, to part-time and temporary domestic work has been well documented in the literature, a new trend of domestic outsourcing is prevalent. People can contract out or outsource domestic or care duties to domestic service firms that render professional, tailored, and hassle-free services. A particular issue at hand is the outsourcing of cleaning through housecleaning service firms. Few studies have looked at this trend, but it appears that many people no longer employ a domestic worker directly, but through a housecleaning service firm that brings forth a different dynamic to domestic work. Professionalism, the standardisation of cleaning services, and numerical and functional flexibility are some of the changes it offers people using these services. International literature indicates that the use of housecleaning service firms is linked to reconciliation between work and family demands, especially since the rise of women in formal employment. Other factors show that state interventions through tax cuts are linked to the increased use of housecleaning services in some European countries. There is also a link between changing household sizes, and an ageing population that renders the need for domestic outsourcing. In South Africa, where the contracting in or employing of domestic workers is the norm among the middle-class, it is unclear why people use outsourced housecleaning services. The primary aim of this dissertation, is, therefore, to identify factors, which contribute to the use of housecleaning services in South Africa. From a theoretical perspective, feminism, maternalism, changes in work and employment patterns and life cycles are used to provide a deeper understanding into the use of housecleaning services. Using a mixed-methods design, I focused on three outsourced housecleaning service firms that render team cleaning under similar terms and conditions. By focusing on clients’ perspectives, the following factors were found to have an effect on the use of housecleaning services. Firstly, the broad benefits of using housecleaning services, which include high levels of professionalism, reliable and trained domestic employees, and a tripartite employment relationship that limits dependency and responsibility, was found as a particular reason why housecleaning services are used. Demographical and household characteristics profiles and life cycle patterns of clients also affect the need to use housecleaning services. It was found that clients of housecleaning services are mainly white and female, aged in their fifties. Clients also predominantly live in households with less than three members. Another finding reveals that a large percentage of clients have shifted from employing a domestic worker privately to hiring a housecleaning service firm. It was found that labour legislation and the underlying issues of a personal bipartite employment relationship contribute to the shift to housecleaning services. Finally, this study also looked at the disadvantages of using housecleaning services from current and former clients’ views and found that the loss of control, feelings of detachment and lack of consistency regarding cleaning were some of the issues for terminating the use of housecleaning services. In closure, a novel contribution of this study is that outsourced housecleaning services have been widely neglected in a context where domestic work is a major source of employment for thousands of black women in South Africa. By outsourcing domestic work to housecleaning services, not only are physical cleaning tasks outsourced, but also maternalism and emotional labour. This study shows that some people are no longer willing to have a relationship with the people who clean their homes and that they believe it is simply not worth the effort to maintain a relationship. The interaction between clients and domestic employees are stripped to the bare minimum. What this study ultimately shows is how race and class oppression is renegotiated in the domestic work sphere when domestic labour is outsourced to housecleaning services. The long-term effects of housecleaning services are far-reaching. By integrating a mix of qualitative and quantitative data, this study is one of the most comprehensive studies to date on outsourced housecleaning services in South Africa.en_ZA
dc.description.abstractAFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Die aard van betaalde huishoudelike werk is besig om te verander. Alhoewel die verskuiwing van voltydse inbly- en uitbly- tot deeltydse en tydelike huishoudelike werk deeglik gedokumenteer is, is ‘n nuwe tendens van huishoudelike uitkontraktering algemeen. Mense kan huishoudelike of versorgingspligte uitkontrakteer aan firmas wat professionele, persoonlike en moeite-vrye dienste bied. Die uitkontraktering van skoonmaak aan skoonmaakdienstefirmas is ‘n saak wat veral onder die soekglas is. Min studies het al hierdie tendens bestudeer, maar dit blyk dat heelwat mense nie meer ‘n voltydse huishoudelike werker gebruik nie, maar eerder ‘n huisskoonmaakdiens, wat ‘n ander dinamiek tot huishoudelike werk bring. Professionaliteit, die standaardisering van skoonmaakdienste en numeriese en funksionele buigsaamheid is ‘n aantal veranderinge wat aan mense wat hierdie dienste gebruik, gebied word. Internasionale literatuur toon aan dat die gebruik van huishoudelike dienste firmas gekoppel is aan die versoening van werks- en gesinseise, veral sedert vroue toenemend formeel in diens geneem word. Ander faktore toon aan dat staatsingrypings deur middel van belastingverlaging gekoppel is aan ‘n toename in die gebruik van huisskoonmaakdienste in sekere Europese lande. Verder voed die verband tussen veranderende huishoudinggroottes en ‘n verouderende bevolking die behoefte aan huishoudelike uitkontraktering. In Suid-Afrika, waar die inkontraktering of aanstelling van huishoudelike werkers die norm is by middle-klas huishoudings, is dit nie duidelik waarom mense huisskoonmaakdienste gebruik nie. Die hoofdoel van hierdie verhandeling is dus om faktore te identifiseer wat bydra tot die gebruik van huisskoonmaakdienste in Suid-Afrika. Vanuit ‘n teoretiese perspectief, word feminisme, maternalisme, the veranderinge in werkspatrone en lewensiklusse gebruik om ‘n dieper begrip te kry oor die gebruik van huisskoonmaak dientse. Deur gebruik te maak van ‘n gemengde-metodes ontwerp, het ek gefokus op drie uitgekontrakteerde huisskoonmaakfirmas wat spanskoonmaakdienste onder soortgelyke terme en voorwaardes bied. Deur te fokus op kliënteperspektiewe, is die volgende faktore gevind om ‘n effek op die gebruik van huisskoonmaakdienste te hê. Eerstens is die breë voordele van die gebruik van huisskoonmaakdienste - wat hoë vlakke van professionaliteit, betroubare en opgeleide huishoudelike werknemers en ‘n drieledige indiensnemingsverhouding wat afhanklikheid en verantwoordelikheid beperk - insluit, gevind as ‘n besondere rede waarom huisskoonmaakdienste gebruik word. Demografiese en huishoudingseienskapprofiele asook lewenssikluspatrone van kliënte beïnvloed verder die behoefte om huisskoonmaakdienste te gebruik. Daar is gevind dat kliënte hoofsaaklik in huishoudings met minder as drie lede woon. ‘n Ander bevinding openbaar dat ‘n groot persentasie van kliënte verskuif het van die privaat indiensneming van ‘n huishoudelike werker tot die huur van ‘n huisskoonmaakdiensfirma. Daar is bevind dat arbeidswetgewing en sake onderliggend aan ‘n persoonlike, tweeledige indiensnemingsverhouding bydra tot die verskuiwing na die gebruik van huisskoonmaakdienste. Laastens het hierdie studie die nadele van die gebruik van huisskoonmaakdienste ondersoek vanuit huidige en voormalige kliënte se perspektiewe en het bevind dat die verlies van beheer, gevoelens van losmaking en gebrek aan konsekwentheid sommige van die redes is vir die terminering van die gebruik van huisskoonmaakdienste. Ten slotte is ‘n nuwe en unieke bydrae van hierdie studie dat uitgekontrakteerde huisskoonmaakdienste grootliks afgeskeep is in ‘n konteks waar huishoudelike werk ‘n hoofbron van indiensneming vir duisende swart vroue in Suid-Afrika is. Die gebruik van huisskoonmaak dienste word nie net die fisiese werk van huiswerk uitgekontrakteer nie, maar ook maternalisme en emotionele arbeid. Hierdie studie bevind dat mense nie meer beried is om ‘n verhouding te hê met die mense wat hulle huise skoon maak nie and hulle glo dat dit bloot nie die moeite werd is om ‘n verhouding met huiswerkers te hê nie. Die interaksie tussen kliënte en huiswerkers word beperk tot ‘n minimum. Wat hierdie uiteinde wys is dat race en klass onderdrukking heronderhandel word in die huiswerk sfeer wanneer huiswerk uitgekontrakteer word na huisskoonmaakdienste. Die langtermyn effekte van huisskoonmaakdienste is verreikend. Deur ‘n mengsel van kwalitatiewe en kwantitatiewe data te integreer is hierdie studie een van die mees omvattende studies tot op hede oor uitgekontrakteerde huisskoonmaakdienste in Suid-Afrika.af_ZA
dc.format.extentxiv, 282 leaves : illustrations (some color)
dc.language.isoenen_ZA
dc.publisherStellenbosch : Stellenbosch Universityen_ZA
dc.subjectHouse cleaning -- South Africaen_ZA
dc.subjectHousehold employees -- Relations with employees -- South Africaen_ZA
dc.subjectHousecleaning service companies -- South Africaen_ZA
dc.subjectUCTDen_ZA
dc.subjectOutsourcing -- Sociological aspectsen_ZA
dc.titleCleaning up : a sociological investigation into the use of outsourced housecleaning servicesen_ZA
dc.typeThesisen_ZA
dc.description.versionDoctoralen_ZA
dc.rights.holderStellenbosch Universityen_ZA


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