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Care-work for colonial and contemporary white families in India: a historical-anthropology of the racialized romanticization of the ayah

Chakraborty, Satya Shikha and Grover, Shalini (2022) Care-work for colonial and contemporary white families in India: a historical-anthropology of the racialized romanticization of the ayah. Cultural Dynamics, 34 (4). 297 - 319. ISSN 0921-3740

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Identification Number: 10.1177/09213740221144045

Abstract

This article examines interracial gendered care-work through the figure of the ayah (maid) serving white families in India from the late-eighteenth to the twenty-first century. Historical and anthropological scholarships on domestic labor in India remain self-contained fields, and mostly focus on middle-class Indian households. Our comparative study offers insights into the racialized romanticization of the ayah through a trans-temporal approach combining archival work (for British imperial households in the past) with ethnographic research (for Euro-American expatriate households in the present). While exploring the parallels in colonial and contemporary domestic dynamics, and the intertwining of interracial anxieties and sentimentalization, we pay close attention to the subjectivities of Indian ayahs and their changing labor roles.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: https://journals.sagepub.com/home/CDY
Additional Information: © The Author(s) 2022.
Divisions: International Inequalities Institute
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DS Asia
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
Date Deposited: 05 Jan 2023 15:27
Last Modified: 16 May 2024 03:59
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/117732

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