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The “Mama Mary” of the White City’s Underside: Reflections on a Filipina Domestic Workers’ Block Rosary in Tel Aviv, Israel

Title data

Liebelt, Claudia:
The “Mama Mary” of the White City’s Underside: Reflections on a Filipina Domestic Workers’ Block Rosary in Tel Aviv, Israel.
In: Fernandez, Bina ; Regt, Marina de (Hrsg): Migrant Domestic Workers in the Middle East: The Home and the World. - Basingstoke : Palgrave Macmillan , 2014 . - pp. 95-116
ISBN 978-1-13-748210-5
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137482112

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Abstract in another language

Each Friday, a loose network of Catholic migrant domestic workers, almost exclusively women from the Philippines, carries a figure of the Virgin Mary through the marginalized neighborhoods of southern Tel Aviv, Israel. As the figure is carried from one participant’s home to another of this so-called block rosary, they believe “she” (the Virgin Mary) blesses these homes and the surrounding neighborhood, hears hundreds of the women’s petitions, creates a community of devotees, and performs miracles. Against the backdrop of the troubled neighborhood’s Friday night life and the turbulence of the devotees’ own lives, “Mama Mary,” as she is tenderly addressed, has come to stand for compassion, refuge, and protection. This chapter seeks to describe and analyze domestic workers’ Marian devotion in a complex Middle Eastern locale. In doing so, this chapter contributes to the literature on diaspora, gender, and religion and investigates ritual performance and processes of homemaking in the context of female migrants’ diasporic journeys and a gendered global economy based on the international division and feminization of labor, especially in the field of reproduction and care (Constable, 2009; Eng, 2010; Mills, 2003).
As described in much of the now extensive literature on female migrant domestic workers from the global South, these women are often highly educated but suffer from low wages, economic crises, and a lack of social security within their home countries. They pay considerable sums of money to cross international borders and often find it difficult to maintain legal status abroad while struggling for their rights within strategically selective migration and citizenship regimes.

Further data

Item Type: Article in a book
Refereed: Yes
Additional notes: Im Druck
Keywords: care and domestic work, Israel, migration, Filipino diaspora, Marian devotion, Catholicism, urban anthropology
Institutions of the University: Faculties > Faculty of Cultural Studies > Chair Social Anthropology > Chair Social Anthropology - Univ.-Prof. Dr. Erdmute Alber
Faculties > Faculty of Cultural Studies
Faculties > Faculty of Cultural Studies > Chair Social Anthropology
Result of work at the UBT: Yes
DDC Subjects: 300 Social sciences > 300 Social sciences, sociology and anthropology
Date Deposited: 28 Nov 2014 09:14
Last Modified: 28 Nov 2014 09:14
URI: https://eref.uni-bayreuth.de/id/eprint/4186