The cultural community and work environment of West Indian nannies in the gentrifying neighborhood of Park Slope, in Brooklyn, N.Y., is dissected in this exhaustive sociological survey. Special emphasis is given to how these women meet and support each other in an isolating profession; public parks, libraries, even cellphones are all explored as avenues to find solidarity and collectively define the boundaries of "work" in a job that blurs the borders between the personal and professional. Brown, a woman of West Indian descent and a Park Slope mother, is able to move deftly between the worlds of the parents and the child-care providers, obtaining flashes of insight into both sides. Brisk chapters make for a swift read that gives scope if not always depth--a section on the lack of meaningful overtime pay for nannies especially begs for a more detailed look. Still, as a survey it is a vivid snapshot into the lives of women working in a vast, largely unregulated industry, vulnerable to abuses, and defying odds to create a nourishing community. (Jan.)
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“Brown has done a masterful job—as a participant observer—of reflecting the everyday world of female domestic laborers. While she, herself, straddles two worlds—belonging to an Afro Caribbean community that is victimized by racism while simultaneously having the financial resources to hire a part-time nanny to care for her two children—her ethnic identity allowed her access to an insular community. The result is both fascinating and compelling.” -www.ElevateDifference.com
&8220;Outsiders can only wonder what West Indian caregivers say to each other as they sit on park benches watching their charges. Mose Brown gives us the answer, in an insightful and fascinating account of how these women create their own social worlds in public spaces. A revealing sociological portrait of women whose work and struggles command respect.”
-Julia Wrigley,author of Education and Gender Equity
"In Raising Brooklyn, public spaces and social networks become the context for an engaging narrative."
-Rosanna Hertz,Women's Review of Books
"The employment relationship between women illustrates how gender intersects with other factors (race, class, nationality, citizenship) to reveal deep meaning in the lifes and work of the women on both sides of the social divide" -E. Hu-DeHart,Choice
“Mose Brown has entered the hidden realm of West Indian childcare workers and produced a remarkable picture of urban life. This is fine grained, careful ethnography that reveals the taken for granted intimacies and politics of everyday experience.”
-Mitchell Duneier,author of Sidewalk
“Vividly written…Mose Brown’s own voice is especially poignant; her reflexivity about her relationships to others as a researcher, fellow New Yorker and mother is a model for contemporary ethnography.”
-Joanna Dreby,author of Divided by Borders: Mexican Migrants and their Children
“A sensitive and nuanced glimpse into the lives of the women who raise so many of Brooklyn’s—and America’s—children. Mose Brown has given us a deeply compelling and timely ethnography.”
-Philip Kasinitz,co-author of Inheriting the City
"Despite economic and cultural marginalization, the West Indian child-care providers profiled in this ethnography carve out strong identities. Congregating in public spaces, such as parks, in majority-white, gentrified Brooklyn, the nannies assert themselves as integral members of their neighborhoods."
"In Raising Brooklyn, Tamara Rose Brown presents a vibrant account of the robust social worlds created by West Indian babysitters...[she] has taken us inside a frequently seen but little-understood social world and has unpacked how it works to nurture its members."
-Cameron Macdonald,American Journal of Sociology
“[An] engrossing look at the Caribbean community of child care workers in Brooklyn, NY”
“Part of a vibrant tradition of ethnographic studies of domestic work, Tamara Mose Brown’s Raising Brooklyn: Nannies, Childcare, and Caribbeans Creating Community provides a richly detailed description of the community networks of West Indian childcare providers in gentrifying Brooklyn. Drawing on three years of research, including both participant observation and in-depth interviews, Brown illuminates how these women navigate their employee-employer relations, as well as race, class, and gender categories as they move between private and public space."
-The Teachers College Record
"In Raising Brooklyn: Nannies, Childcare, asn Caribbeans Creating Community, Tamara Mose Brown gives a public voice to the concerns, hopes, and fears of West Indian child-care workers of Brooklyn, a tight-knit community of first-generation women who tend thousands of the city's children each day in its public parks."
-Catherine Bailey,Zocalo Public Square