Doméstica: Immigrant Workers Cleaning and Caring in the Shadows of Affluence
Americans are quirky about class. We point to democracy and egalitarianism as the defining elements of our society, yet we cannot ignore our checkered history of exploitation of land and labor. Fast forward to the 21st century, the majority of women with children are working, and two-career families struggle to stay ahead of the frenetic pace. They try to balance the demands of the workplace with the needs of the family and the tasks associated with "taking care of our stuff." Many working women -- on the advice of friends, therapists, or just because it makes sense to pay others to do work there's no time to do -- turn to housekeepers and nannies to minimize the chaos and make time for activities besides working at work and working at home. Yet there is a profound moral ambivalence about having "hired help" in our homes, paying others to clean our homes and care for our children. It sounds so aristocratic and reeks of feudalism. There is discomfort about hiring mostly poor and mainly immigrant women to do the "dirty work" of cleaning and caring. Some may question whether or not this kind of work is a real job, a conundrum not lost on stay-at-home moms who are often on the defensive when the inevitable question is raised at a cocktail party or company picnic: "So what do you do?" Women who do not have a professional career yet depend on a housekeeper and nanny to help out admit they don't like being around when the worker is cleaning. That's the day or the time they choose to run errands or go shopping.
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agencies American Angeles arrangements arrived asked Association California caring Central chapter child cities cleaners cleaning clients countries domestic workers earn employ employers employment English expect experience explained feel friends give hire housecleaners household housekeeper husband immigrant women important initially interviewed involved kind labor Latina domestic workers Latina immigrant leave less live live-in jobs live-out look Los Angeles mestic Mexican migrant mother nanny nanny/housekeepers networks never noted occupation offered organized owner paid domestic parents percent performed racial raise recalled references relations relationship relatively remain reported social someone sometimes status tasks tell things told United University wage week weekly woman young
Not-so-nuclear Families: Class, Gender, and Networks of Care
Karen V. Hansen
No preview available - 2005
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