Articulations of eroticism and race: Domestic service in Latin America

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'Service', particularly 'domestic service', operates as a specific articulation or intersection of processes of race, class, gender and age that reiterates images of the sexual desirability of some women racially marked by blackness or indigeneity in Latin America. The sexualisation of racially subordinated people has been linked to the exercise of power. This article focuses on an aspect of subordination related to the condition of being a servant, and the 'domestication' and 'acculturation' that domestic service implies in societies where black and indigenous people are often linked to 'backwardness'. Perceived racial otherness, class subordination, gender, age and domesticated servitude together reinforce an erotic image of sexual availability, particularly in younger women. © The Author(s) 2013 Reprints and permissions:
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)187-202
Number of pages15
JournalFeminist Theory
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013


  • Colombia
  • domestic service
  • eroticism
  • gender
  • Latin America
  • race
  • sexuality


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