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Shadow Mothers – Nannies, Au Pairs, and the Micropolitics of Mothering - California Scholarship Online
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Shadow Mothers: Nannies, Au Pairs, and the Micropolitics of Mothering

Cameron Lynne Macdonald


This book shines new light on an aspect of contemporary motherhood often hidden from view: the need for paid childcare by women returning to the workforce, and the complex bonds mothers forge with the “shadow mothers” they hire. This book illuminates both sides of an unequal and complicated relationship. Based on in-depth interviews with professional women and childcare providers—immigrant and American-born nannies as well as European au pairs—this book locates the roots of individual skirmishes between mothers and their childcare providers in broader cultural and social tensions. The book arg ... More

Keywords: motherhood, mothering, childcare, mothers, nannies, au pairs, childcare providers, career paths, professional women

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2011 Print ISBN-13: 9780520222328
Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012 DOI:10.1525/california/9780520222328.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Cameron Lynne Macdonald, author