Sociologický časopis
Czech sociological review


← Sociologický časopis / Czech Sociological Review 6/2015

Adéla Souralová:
Paid Caregiving in the Gendered Life Course: A Study of Czech Nannies in Vietnamese Immigrant Families [959]

Souralová, Adéla. 2015. „Paid Caregiving in the Gendered Life Course: A Study of Czech Nannies in Vietnamese Immigrant Families.“ Sociologický časopis / Czech Sociological Review 51 (6): 959-992,

Vietnamese immigrant families in the Czech Republic often recruit Czech women to look after their children. Seen in the context of the dominant scholarship, this is a quite unique case in the field of care work where the employers are immigrants, while the employees are women of the host country. Drawing upon fifteen in-depth interviews with Czech nannies, this article analyses the motivations to become a nanny in a Vietnamese family. It employs the perspective of the life course in order to understand what changes in women’s biographies lie behind these decisions. The author focuses on the transitions in nannies’ life cycles at the crossroads of three aspects of their biographies: the family caregiving role, position in the labour market and the welfare state, and the meaning of paid caregiving. By looking at how women experience and attach meaning to transitions and phases in their life, which lead them to take a gendered job as a nanny, the author sheds light on the dynamics of the complex processes (taking place in families, the labour market, or the welfare state) that constitute these changes. This article—through the analysis of the motivations to become nannies—illuminates the broader issues of how gendered biographies are shaped under particular socio-economic and historical conditions, as well as by particular cultural expectations of caregiving.

Keywords: caregiving, life course, gender, nanny, Vietnamese immigrants, caring biographies

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