Cameron Lynne Macdonald

in Shadow Mothers

Published by University of California Press

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780520222328
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520947818 | DOI:

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This introductory chapter explains the coverage of this book which is about the micropolitics of the so-called shadow mothers, nannies or au pairs. This book's close examination of commodified mother-work challenges assumptions concerning the self-sufficiency of the nuclear family and the permeability of the public-private divide. It examines the delegation of mother-work such as conceiving, gestating and bearing children, the creation of family ties or the economic support of children and analyzes the cultural and structural constraints that shape the mother-nanny relationship. It proposes ways for resolving the ideal mother/ideal worker conflict and alternative models of the mother-nanny relationship and avenues for change.

Keywords: shadow mothers; nannies; au pairs; micropolitics; nuclear family; mother-nanny relationships; self-sufficiency

Chapter.  7027 words. 

Subjects: Gender and Sexuality

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