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Shadow MothersNannies, Au Pairs, and the Micropolitics of Mothering$
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Cameron Lynne Macdonald

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780520222328

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520222328.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 06 July 2022



Childcare on Trial

(p.1) 1 Introduction
Shadow Mothers

Cameron Lynne Macdonald

University of California Press

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

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