Publication Date

April 2014

Major

African American Studies

Language

English (United States)

Abstract

This thesis considers a great paradox in the contemporary childcare landscape: while organizations such as the Baby College are teaching working- and lower-class minority parents how to raise their children as middle- and upper-middle class parents do, middle- and upper-middle class parents are hiring working- and lower-class minority women to care for their children during the day. I call attention the historical resonances of racialized domestic work and establish connections between this labor in different historical moments. Using the testimonies of six caretakers and nine employers, I explore the cross-cultural exchange of information and feeling that integral to care work. I argue that this process of exchange adds more nuance to understandings of hierarchical relationships between care workers and families and complicates institutionalized beliefs about the ?best? or ?right? way to parent.  

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