Unravelling privilege: Workers’ children and the hidden costs of paid child care1

Mary Romero

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter reviews the reforms and proposals ignoring the working conditions of women paid care workers presuppose gender essentialism while perpetuating ideological assumptions about the nature of caring that reinforce the status quo. It reiterates major themes in the work and family conflict literature and note their linkages to earlier feminist debates on the politics of housework’, and the social construction of contemporary mothering. The chapter considers how hiring a domestic or nanny enables middle-class women to enter the labor force while retaining aspects of mothering central to her class and gender identity by shifting oppressive aspects of care giving, thus reproducing stratified social relationships. It analyses how care processes and social relationships embedded in the hiring of nannies expose class privilege and the social curriculum of class relations that socialize employers’ and workers’ children to their social positions. The chapter examines care work in the worker’s family from the standpoint of the children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationWhen Care Work Goes Global
Subtitle of host publicationLocating the Social Relations of Domestic Work
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781134762255
ISBN (Print)9781409439240
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)


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