Date of Graduation

Spring 5-18-2024

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Migration Studies


College of Arts and Sciences

First Advisor

Melisa Garcia



This thesis seeks to fill the gaps between migration and domestic labor discourses that lack a queer, decolonial conception of the queer migrant community in the US. Dominant conceptualizations of care work exclude LGBTQ+ migrant individuals who are forced into the “informal” sector of labor as a by-product of the settler-colonial state, neoliberalism, and globalization. Centering queer migration approaches and decolonial practices will help to illuminate how gender, race, and sexuality are consistently excluded in discussions of migrant domestic workers. To investigate how migration discourse and understandings of care work continue to impose Western heteronormative perceptions of migrants, I utilize a critical discourse analysis using two major case studies Doméstica: Immigrant Workers Cleaning and Caring in the Shadows of Affluence (Hondagneu-Sotelo 2007) and Servants of Globalization: Migration and Domestic Work (Parreñas 2015) consisting of Latina and Filipina care workers experiences in the US. The findings suggest that there are implicit heteronormative conceptualizations of migrant women and queer individuals in care work. Throughout both case studies, they reveal and reproduce heteronormative assumptions about migrant domestic workers; and as a result, reinforce monolithic representations of migrant women and privilege, heteronormative ideas, practices, and institutions, which ultimately contribute to the ongoing erasure of queer migrant BIPOC in care work.

Keywords: queer migration discourse, informal labor, care work, domestic work, decolonial theory, heteronormativity

Available for download on Friday, May 23, 2025

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