ERC grant at Ca' Foscari to study the social impact of globalization


What is the impact of globalization on social inequality? Research funded by ERC on the conditions of domestic work in nine countries over the world, including Italy, will contribute to shedding light on this issue.

Sabrina Marchetti, sociologist at Ca’ Foscari University of Venice will lead the research. After spending 13 years in research centres abroad, the researcher returns to an Italian public university bringing with her a European Research Council Starting Grant of €1.2 million in 4 years.

The researcher from Rome has chosen to conduct her enquiries at Ca’ Foscari, where she is currently Associate Professor of Sociology of Cultural and Communication Processes with the Department of Philosophy and Cultural Heritage. This is the third time that ERC funding has been awarded to the field of Humanities at Ca’ Foscari in the last two years.

“Even though I’ve received offers from abroad, I’ve decided for Ca’ Foscari,” the newly appointed Professor states. “This because it is a university that has shown explicit interest in the issues of social inequality and social research, in line with increasing international interest on gender studies that, despite several attempts,  have rarely been addressed in Italy.”

The DomEQUAL project will focus on paid domestic work, mostly done by women: of the 52.6 million domestic workers throughout the world, 43 million are women and 7 million are children. While they make a significant contribution to society, these workers generally operate under very precarious work conditions: the wages are low, they do physically demanding work and they are not afforded adequate social protection.

Sabrina Marchetti will analyze the repercussions on the situation of household workers in nine countries in three continents: Spain, Germany, Italy, Columbia, Ecuador, Brazil, India, the Philippines and Taiwan from the perspective of the profound changes that have occurred since 1950 (stimulated by phenomena such as globalization, migration and urbanization). She will guide a team of three young researchers with the support of other nine researchers in the countries involved in the study.

As Convention 189 concerning decent work for domestic workers of the International Labour Organization came into effect in 2011, new data and tools have been made available to research such as this, allowing an in-depth comparison of the socio-economic differences and legal status of these workers in these countries. The study also has the objective of evaluating which institution or national government is most effective in improving the context in which these workers find themselves.