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Cadernos Brasileiros de Terapia Ocupacional

versão On-line ISSN 2526-8910


SANTOS, Vagner Dos; RODRIGUES, Izabella Oliveira  e  GALVAAN, Roshan. “It is not what I planned for my life”. Occupations of live-in domestic workers. Cad. Bras. Ter. Ocup. [online]. 2019, vol.27, n.3, pp.467-479.  Epub 29-Ago-2019. ISSN 2526-8910.


In Brazil, nearly 20% of women in the country are domestic workers. Domestic work has a restrictive nature that can lead to occupational deprivation and occupational marginalization. This may be the case of live-in domestic workers in Brazil.


Our research question was: What are Brazilian domestic workers' experiences in participating in their occupations in everyday life?


A qualitative phenomenological was carried out and thought purposive sampling 5 participants were selected in the Plano Piloto region, Brasilia, DF, Brazil. Data was collected through face-face interviews and analyzed using Systematic Text Condensation.


The data analysis yielded one theme and two categories. The theme, Grappling with being a domestic worker, described the domestic workers ongoing confrontations and tensions experienced in their daily lives. This experience of wresting with the influence of being a domestic worker was constituted through two categories, namely a sense of 'Belonging to the labor role' and 'Exceptionalism: a employers' negotiation tactic'.


Our work contributes to a critical perspective of occupation. We focus on how historical, social and political factors contribute to creating oppressive environments that influences domestic workers as people who are part of a marginalized group. This occurs in the way that their occupations are constructed in their doing in every-day life.

Palavras-chave : Employment; Occupational Justice; Brazil.

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