Navigating babysitting as liminal, gendered, and undervalued work
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AbstractBabysitting is a common early-work experience in the West, yet there is little research on babysitters. From in-depth, qualitative interviews with 16 babysitters, we explore three themes related to liminality and gender inequality in babysitting. First, babysitting is a skilled job; many babysitters undertook formal and informal training and used it at work. Second, babysitters occupy a liminal position between childhood and adulthood, bringing challenges and opportunities at work. Finally, babysitters thoughtfully negotiate pay, but sometimes experience challenges doing so.