Shadow Mothers and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
  • List Price: $27.95
  • Save: $1.91 (7%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 3 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by
Gift-wrap available.
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Used: Good | Details
Sold by RentU
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Fast shipping from Amazon! Qualifies for Prime Shipping and FREE standard shipping for orders over $35. Overnight, 2 day and International shipping available! Excellent Customer Service.. May not include supplements such as CD, access code or DVD.
Sell yours for a Gift Card
We'll buy it for $2.00
Learn More
Trade in now
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See this image

Shadow Mothers: Nannies, Au Pairs, and the Micropolitics of Mothering Paperback – February 9, 2011

See all 3 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
"Please retry"
"Please retry"
$20.43 $6.60

Frequently Bought Together

Shadow Mothers: Nannies, Au Pairs, and the Micropolitics of Mothering + Mothers on the Fast Track: How a New Generation Can Balance Family and Careers + Doing the Best I Can: Fatherhood in the Inner City
Price for all three: $61.39

Buy the selected items together

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press (February 9, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520266978
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520266971
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,324,130 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


“Offers surprising and layered insights into the . . . modern mommy phenomenon played out every day from coast to coast.”
(Boston Globe 2011-11-15)

“Sparks important insights for mother-employers and their employees. . . . And along the way, it offers society and individuals a way to create positive mother-childcare worker relationships.”
(Foreword 2011-01-01)

“An interesting read. . . . [Macdonald’s] findings are thought-provoking”
(Kate Burns Law Society Journal 2011-08-01)

From the Inside Flap

“The working mom and her child-care worker are here to stay. So what’s gotten in the way of a respectful and happy partnership between the two? In this timely, important and beautifully written book, Cameron Macdonald uncovers a powerful contradiction between a mother’s high-demand job and her unrealistic ideal of mother-centered 'intensive mothering.' Studded with vivid accounts of what are often poignantly misaligned woman-to-woman encounters, Macdonald drills down to root causes and points us toward a much needed solution. This is must reading for mothers, care workers and all whose lives they touch.” —Arlie Hochschild, author of The Second Shift, The Time Bind, and The Commercialization of Intimate Life

"Shadow Mothers makes a remarkably important contribution to the study of mothering and its commodification. It provides revealing insights into the challenges of childcare brought by maternalism's staunch ideological stronghold. Nannies don't just care for children but they must also manage the emotions of mothers."—Rhacel Parrenas, University of Southern California

"Shadow Mothers is a path-breaking and extraordinarily sophisticated book. It will, no doubt, make a major splash. The book's allure comes from Macdonald's insightful juxtaposition of the childbearing ideologies of mothers and mother-workers and her sensitive treatment of the relationships among these women."—Sharon Hays, author of Flat Broke with Children

"This is a book about mothers and what it means to mother, whether paid or unpaid, biological, adoptive, or hired. Shadow Mothers explores the underbelly of women's entry into the labor force—their need for paid childcare providers—with nuance and original insight. It triumphs in taking on a controversial and highly charged subject without polemic, allowing us to see both sides of a relationship that is asymmetric in complex ways."—Pamela Stone, author of Opting Out?: Why Women Really Quit Careers and Head Home

More About the Author

Cameron Macdonald writes about caregiving - in all of its forms. Her interest in the mother-nanny bond stems from both her own experience as a nanny and her concern for the overwhelming pressure on mothers and childcare workers created by our contemporary culture of competitive mothering. She teaches family sociology, qualitative methods and medical sociology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
See both customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

By Rhacel Parrenas on September 4, 2014
Format: Paperback
Best book on the topic. So analytically astute in its reading of employer-employee relations. Beautifully and convincingly describes the costs for domestic workers when mothers cannot let go of the caregiving responsibility they have chosen to outsource. The observation and description of how care is being unwillingly outsourced is really brilliant.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Very informative on how mothers still want to enjoy their status in the corporate world but want a family life.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?