Other People's Children

Julia Wrigley, Author
Julia Wrigley, Author Basic Books $21 (177p) ISBN 978-0-465-05370-4
Reviewed on: 04/03/1995
Release date: 04/01/1995
Paperback - 978-0-465-05382-7
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Sociologist Wrigley (Class Politics and Public Schools) interviewed 177 parents and caregivers on Manhattan's Upper West Side; in the N.Y.C. suburb of Englewood, N.J.; in the L.A. neighborhood of Brentwood; and in Santa Monica, Calif., to uncover problems that arise when parents and the caregivers they hire, the latter often illegal immigrants, do not have similar backgrounds. Even ``class peers''--au pairs and professional nannies, who are better paid, have more autonomy and are better educated than ``class subordinates''--often clash with parents over how to raise the children. With its high turnover, little job security or control over job conditions, and its discouraging of close bonds with the children, private care often benefits no one. Wrigley argues that daycare centers run by professionals in controlled work environments would be superior to in-home care. But she fails to address the problems daycare presents for parents and children, such as the lack of individual attention for children and rigid operating hours. Instead, in an informative report that will be of interest mostly to professionals, she cursorily urges legislators to develop more family-friendly policies. (Apr.)
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