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Raising Brooklyn: Nannies, Childcare, and Caribbeans Creating Community Paperback – January 24, 2011

4.5 out of 5 stars 24 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

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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Review

“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



“[An] engrossing look at the Caribbean community of child care workers in Brooklyn, NY”

-Library Journal

"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

"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." 
-Ms. Magazine

"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

“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

"In Raising Brooklyn, public spaces and social networks become the context for an engaging narrative."
-Rosanna Hertz,Women's Review of Books

“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

“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

“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

&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, 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
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: NYU Press (January 24, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814791433
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814791431
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.5 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,453,620 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Mose Brown provides an insightful glimpse into the lives of West Indian nannies who are raising many children in Brooklyn and of New York City. Her writing is vivid and honest, allowing us as the reader entree into the hidden world of childcare work and the immigrant women involved in this important work. Mose Brown gives a fascinating account on how these women develop social spaces and communities in the parks and sidewalks where they are seen daily with the children they care for.

I loved every moment of reading this book. It really made me more aware of the struggles of West Indian nannies as women, immigrants, mothers, and childcare workers.
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Format: Paperback
In this book the author discusses the hidden world of West Indian childcare providers, in a “gentrified Brooklyn.” The author gives an in depth insight of the distinct social groups these childcare providers created for themselves with in a community of upper class employers. Although these employers are females the author illustrates differences between the employer and employees, by class, race, gender, and matriarch status. These childcare providers or domestic workers play a vital part in the daily up-bring they provide for their employers. The author mostly focuses on the many ways in which these West Indian workers use the public space to share their collective interest of culture and how they interact with the kids while on play dates or out in the park. RECOMMEND!
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Format: Paperback
Dr. Mose does an excellent job compiling the experiences of these nannies and giving insight to the realities faced by childcare providers of all backgrounds despite focusing on West Indians. While the sample can be fairly criticized as being too small to be substantive, it gives an opportunity to consider another narrative that has not been given this much attention as far as I know. The realities of these nannies are deeply rooted in the historical and socioeconomic relationship between the Caribbean and North America, so this book should be seen as a sample of the effects of post-colonialism just as much as it can be seen as a compilation of personal experiences.
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By KayaLee on December 30, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book offered great insight into the lives of Caribbean caretakers and their employers. This is a well written ethnography using good techniques to gather sound information . The author's ethnic background and her children help her to gain access into this community which helps with the the personal experiences participants feel comfortable sharing. Mose Brown discusses the tasks of care takers and their relationship to employers. In addition, she incorporates an aspect of activism among the caretakers through DWU. Although the book is set in Brooklyn I think it can give the reader insight to these types of relationship regardless of place due to the fact that issues of racial/ ethnic, cultural and class differences are typical in the nanny and employer relationship. This book is a great read and I would strongly recommend it.
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Format: Paperback
With ease, Mose connects the real life experience of Caribbean domestic workers in gentrified Brooklyn to the canon of sociological theory - both classical and contemporary. Rich qualitative work is presented after years of participant observations, in-depth and informal interviews, and the analysis of online blogs used by parents. The book presents the conflicts that arise between worker and employee, the negotiations necessary so that Caribbean nannies can create a sense of community, and the physical environments that allow such interesting performances to play out. Overall, Mose pulls back the curtains of your gentrified Brooklyn brownstone to reveal the ever changing dynamics and intersections of race, class, and status between parents and nannies - employer and employee. I highly recommend this book for parents, domestic workers, social scientists, and students of the social sciences.
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Format: Paperback
Tamara R. Mose did an amazing job with this book. She has taken her readers on an adventure through the everyday lives of West Indian Caribbean workers and the struggles they encounter at work. We as people will see a West Indian person taking care of white children in a gentrified neighborhood and think nothing of it because most people believe watching over other people's children is an easy job. However, we do not take into consideration the struggles a child care provider goes through at work or with their employees. In this book we read about the experiences nannies go through, how unfairly they are being treated and makes you think, being a nanny is not as easy as it looks. I am a happy part time nanny and reading this book, seeing what other nannies go through opened my eyes to see how corrupt the nanny system can be. I strongly recommend this book, it is a must read!
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Format: Paperback
This book its like an open window to the everyday lives of the West Indian childcare givers in gentrified Brooklyn. It gives as an inside of how the caring of a child has become a business where the nannies get reviews and ranks in websites like another one of our household items. The book also gives us a look on how the relationship between employers and workers are. It also shows how the nannies in Brooklyn have build a community between them and how they have found methods of going against the injustice and isolation that could come with this job. It is great book if you are looking to learned about this topic from the perspective of the care givers.
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