Chapter

Nannies on the Market

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: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520222328.003.0003
Nannies on the Market

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This chapter introduces three types of nannies common in the Boston area in Massachusetts and describes their different routes to nanny work, as well as the problems they face in an occupation that is legally and socially defined as being part of the family rather than as doing skilled work. The interview with the caregivers reveals that they consider themselves more skilled than other domestic workers and they take pride in the quality of care they offer, especially as compared to care offered at daycare centers. The analysis also indicates that these caregivers entered the employment relationship constrained by specific cultural values and institutional barriers where their employers valued a professional-class version of intensive mothering that emphasized concerted cultivation.

Keywords: nannies; Boston; Massachusetts; skilled work; family; caregivers; domestic workers; daycare centers; employment relationship; cultural values

Chapter.  11556 words. 

Subjects: Gender and Sexuality

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