CHOOSING THE RIGHT AGE GROUP? INTERSECTIONAL ANALYSIS OF DEMAND FOR PAID DOMESTIC WORKERS IN SLOVAKIA
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Drawing upon interviews with paid carers and their employees undertaken in Bratislava and Banská Bystrica between the years 2013 – 2015, this article focuses on employment of paid domestic workers (nannies, babysitters, and cleaners) in Slovakia. This research focuses on the situation, which is globally unusual: unlike in Slovakia, where paid domestic workers are local women, paid domestic work is generally undertaken mostly by migrant women or women coded as ethnically other. In general, employment of paid domestic work operates on the base of ethnic hierarchies: women belonging to particular ethnic groups are seen as more or less suitable domestic workers. Analysing demand for nannies, babysitters and cleaners in Slovakia, this article argues that employers of local paid domestic workers do not use ethnicity but age as connoting particular qualities considered as a necessary for undertaking paid care or housework. In particular, specific age groups are seen as more or less suitable for doing particular types of paid domestic work (e.g. cleaning, daily care for an infant, babysitting). After describing in detail how employers categorise paid domestic workers according to their age, I will reveal that indecisions of who to employ the age do not operate as an isolated individual category. Rather, it operates in intersection with other categories such as gender and can be understood only when we adopt an intersectional perspective.
239 – 252
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