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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: 27 June 2022

Nanny Resistance Strategies

Nanny Resistance Strategies

(p.143) 8 Nanny Resistance Strategies
Shadow Mothers

Cameron Lynne Macdonald

University of California Press

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

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