Following the maid
Multi-sited ethnography in times of «transnational» domestic labour
In recent years, a growing body of anthropological literature has dealt with issues of migration, mobility and transnationalism, simultaneously reconsidering some of what have been regarded as core elements of the discipline; in particular, the idea of the classical, single-sited ethnographic «field», which has long been thought of as one of the main distinguishing features of anthropology and the central «rite de passage» for becoming an anthropologist, has been reassessed.
Ulf Hannerz and George Marcus were among the first to explicitly propose a methodological alternative to the institution of the field, namely multi-sited fieldwork. Yet, according to these authors, the practice of multi-sited fieldwork was not necessarily new as such and, especially in migration studies, it had been used quite extensively (see Marcus 1995: 106). Interestingly, studies on migrant domestic labour seem to have remained at the margins of these theoretical and methodological developments.