Hired Daughters

Hired Daughters

Domestic Workers among Ordinary Moroccans
Mary Montgomery
Distribution: Global
Publication date: 02/19/2019
Format: Paperback 4 b&w illustrations, 2 b&w maps
ISBN: 978-0-253-04101-2
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Hired Daughters examines a fading tradition of domestic service in which rural girls familiar to ordinary Moroccan families were placed in their homes until marriage. In this tradition of "bringing up," the girls are considered "daughters of the house," and part of their role in the family is to help with the housework. Gradually, this tradition is transforming into one in which workers unfamiliar to their host families are paid a wage and may not stay long, but where the Islamic ethics of charity, religious reward, and gratitude still inform expectations on both sides. Mary Montgomery examines why Moroccans so often talk about their domestic workers as daughters, what this means for workers and employers, and how this is changing in contemporary Morocco. Prioritizing the experiences and perspectives of these women, Montgomery charts the tension that has developed between socially embedded, loyal domestic workers who operate within narratives of kinship and obligation and women who seek greater individualization, privacy, and self-empowerment. Hired Daughters offers a nuanced understanding of a world that bridges public and private, morality and money, family and outsiders. In doing so, it provides an intimate consideration of contemporary Moroccan households as economic enterprises and sites of navigation between the traditional and the global.

Author Bio

Mary Montgomery gained her doctorate in Social Anthropology from the University of Oxford in 2015 and went on to hold a teaching Fellowship at the London School of Economics. She currently works at the British Museum.


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Table of Contents

Part I: The Social Relations of Domestic Service.

1. A City Quarter and the 'Popular' Ideal

2. Mothers and Daughters

3. A Civilizing Mission: Charity, Reward, and Gratitude

4. Serving Neighbors, Serving Strangers: Markets and Marketplaces

Part II: Domestic Workers in the Wider World

5. Domestic Workers in the City

6. Domestic Workers at Home

7. Domestic Workers and the Law