Get Au Pairs' Lives in Global Context: Sisters or Servants? PDF

By Rosie Cox

ISBN-10: 113737747X

ISBN-13: 9781137377470

Au pairs have frequently been regarded as middle-class younger ladies from Northern Europe, who're having a enjoyable hole 12 months abroad. This assortment, the 1st devoted to interpreting the lives of au pairs, unearths that this can be faraway from the full tale. Au pairing is now a world phenomenon and au pairs are only as more likely to come from Asia and Latin the USA as from Sweden or France. they're an more and more very important kind of very low waged, usually unregulated, childcare and household labour permitting tens of millions of households to satisfy the calls for of either paintings and residential lifestyles. regardless of the significance of the paintings that they do, au pairs should not famous as employees and are usually excluded from even the main easy protections, corresponding to a minimal salary. As younger migrants dwelling inside of their employers' houses they're at risk of exploitation and abuse.

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Pink Slave’ or the ‘Modern Young Woman’? 33 2. European Agreement on “au pair” placement. Council of Europe: Explanatory Report, Strasbourg, 24. XI. htm (accessed on 20/7/ 2013) 3. ‘The Social Advisory Group for Girls Away from Home’ – Report for 1961, p 1. London Metropolitan Archives (LMA), ACC/1888/250/043. 4. The Domestic Servants’ Benevolent Institution, 49th AGM, Extract of speeches and report, 16/5/1895, pp. 6–7. LMA, A/FWA/C/D/032. 5. DSBI, May 1846, p 4. 6. ‘Stranger in the House’, Manchester Guardian, 15/5/1931.

Two key findings emerge from this research: first, the origins of the au pair scheme are fundamentally socio-economic, and so the scheme should be understood alongside other histories of economic migration, instead of foregrounding it as a ‘cultural exchange programme’. Secondly, there are some striking similarities between concerns about au pairs in the twentieth century and concerns today, notably the abuse of the scheme by employers and the government’s refusal to recognise au pairing as a form of domestic labour and to formalise it in line with international labour law.

F. St. John Corbett spoke about the problem of ‘foreign competition’ as a ‘grievance’, and urged attendees to employ English servants. When one member retorted that foreign servants were cheaper, he admitted: We have an advantage when we employ foreign servants, because foreigners of the servant class have not yet imbibed the idea which so ‘Pink Slave’ or the ‘Modern Young Woman’? 23 many English servants have – that they are as good as their masters. ’5 Those servants on the bottom rung of the ladder – that is, foreign or ‘unworthy’ servants – were by definition excluded.

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Au Pairs' Lives in Global Context: Sisters or Servants? by Rosie Cox


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