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.”
Helen Jarvis, Newcastle University
“Brimming with insights, this book challenges the stereotype of the au pair as an equal member of a ‘traditional’ English family. The authors expose the problematic nature of au pairing at a time of deregulation and hidden exploitation.”
Helma Lutz, author of The New Maids
“Fills an important lacuna in the area of transnational migrant domestic and care work. A must read for students and scholars of care work in the age of neoliberal care regimes.”
Bridget Anderson, University of Bristol
“This groundbreaking book exposes the economic and political forces that shape our homes and the work that goes on inside them.”
Sabrina Marchetti, Ca’ Foscari University of Venice
“A much needed account of the reality of au pairing, which also poignantly illustrates how intersectional inequalities are produced in today’s Europe. An insightful read for all social scientists.”
Majella Kilkey, University of Sheffield
“In the first large-scale investigation of a largely hidden world, the authors provide an incisive account of the lived experiences of au pairs and their host families, showing how au pairing has become an integral part of austerity Britain.”
Helle Stenum, Roskilde University
“‘A very important contribution to understanding current variations of domestic labor. Brilliantly places the phenomenon of au pairing both in a historical context and in the present-day neoliberal reality of the UK.”
Zuzana Sekeráková Búriková, Masaryk University
“Using the voices of both au pairs and their hosts, the book expertly demonstrates how the historical context and structural inequalities that frame au pairing influence the lived experiences of au pairs in the UK.”
For more information, or to order this book, please visit https://www.press.uchicago.edu
Google preview here