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The "hard" work of sustaining life: reflections from an ethnography with (cis) Bolivian women living in São Paulo, Brazil in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic

Eugenia Brage About the author

Abstract

The article presents results of an ethnography conducted between July 2020 and December 2021 with Bolivian migrant women living in São Paulo, Brazil. The objective is to analyze the sustainability of life during the pandemic, arguing that reproductive and care tasks -individual, collective and community- are inseparable from the activities linked to paid work carried out by these women, a fact that became evident in the pandemic context. All these activities as a whole form a network of tasks that allow the maintenance of life and that I call "hard work", a native category that, on the one hand, allows me to account for the ways in which these activities are intertwined in daily life of these women, problematizing the public-private, productive-reproductive dichotomies, as well as breaking with certain essentialisms linked to the ways in which migrant labor has often been made visible.

Keywords:
sustainability of life; work; Bolivian migration

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