Chapter

“They’re Too Poor and They All Smoke”

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/9780520222328.003.0004
“They’re Too Poor and They All Smoke”

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This chapter outlines the logics working mothers use to find and hire the employee who will provide the right care for their child and for their child's developmental stage. It suggests that the use of ethnic logics leads mothers to reduce nannies to a few essentialized characteristics rooted in ethnicity, age, or national origin, rather than regarding these caregivers as complex or evolving individuals. It explains that objectifying their nannies allows mothers to retain control and that in tailoring their nannies' traits to their children's developmental stages the mothers are also able to fulfil the responsibilities assigned to them by the ideology of intensive mothering.

Keywords: working mothers; ethnic logics; children; developmental stage; caregivers; nannies; intensive mothering

Chapter.  8950 words. 

Subjects: Gender and Sexuality

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