Nanny Resistance Strategies

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:
Nanny Resistance Strategies

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This chapter examines the ways in which nannies accommodate and/or resist employer-imposed definitions of their role and limitations on the bond they forge with the children in their care. The analysis reveals that nannies and au pairs often sought not to reduce their childcare responsibilities but to increase them and, more important, to gain recognition for them. Their professionalization project entailed reframing their work as skilled labor and redefining themselves as third parents and as valued team members rather than as mother's helpers. Ironically, allegiance to the intensive-mothering ideology led them to forgo viewing their work as an exchange of wages for services.

Keywords: nannies; au pairs; employed-imposed definitions; children; childcare responsibilities; skilled labor; third parents; mother's helpers

Chapter.  10434 words. 

Subjects: Gender and Sexuality

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