Paper $29.95 ISBN: 9781783604975 Will Publish November 2018 For sale in North and South America only
Cloth $95.00 ISBN: 9781783604982 Will Publish November 2018 For sale in North and South America only

As an Equal?

Au Pairing in the Twenty First Century

Rosie Cox and Nicole Busch

As an Equal?

Rosie Cox and Nicole Busch

Distributed for Zed Books

175 pages | 5 1/2 x 8 1/2
Paper $29.95 ISBN: 9781783604975 Will Publish November 2018 For sale in North and South America only
Cloth $95.00 ISBN: 9781783604982 Will Publish November 2018 For sale in North and South America only
Tens of thousands of families rely on au pairs to do everything from childcare and housework to elder care, pet feeding, and waiting at dinner parties. Perhaps because society largely sees them as privileged and well-educated young women, au pairs have been excluded from many of the recent discussions of migrant domestic labor. Both the United States and the United Kingdom put few regulations on au pairing: in the US, the government considers them “cultural exchange participants” and in the UK au pairs aren’t considered employees if they even so much as “learn about British culture from the host family.” The result is that au pairs now constitute one of the poorest-paid and least protected groups of workers. 
Through an examination of lived experiences, As an Equal? draws on detailed research to examine au pairs and the families who host them in contemporary Britain. The authors show families lean on au pairs under pressure to provide better childcare in a work environment that demands longer hours and offers little family support. This in turn increases a reliance of families on an exploited workforce, and so contributes to the wider political climate of economic austerity. As an Equal? will raise profound questions about the real value we place on childcare and domestic labor as well as the complicated position of women within the neoliberal economy.
Review Quotes
Mary Romero, author of The Maid’s Daughter: Living Inside and Outside the American Dream
“A revelatory study. This is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the conundrums and inequalities framing the global crisis of work and care.”
Linda McDowell, Oxford University (Emerita)
”This informative and incisive study reveals the relations of care, inter-dependence, affection, and exploitation as young women from Europe ‘help’ more affluent women. The authors provide an indisputable case for reform.”
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