• Title: The Maid's Daughter: Living Inside and Outside the American Dream
  • Author: Mary Romero
  • ISBN: 9780814776421
  • Page: 331
  • Format: Hardcover
  • The Maid s Daughter Living Inside and Outside the American Dream Americo Paredes Book Award Winner for Non Fiction presented by the Center for Mexican American Studies at South Texas College Selected as a Outstanding Title by AAUP University Press Books f
    2012 Americo Paredes Book Award Winner for Non Fiction presented by the Center for Mexican American Studies at South Texas College Selected as a 2012 Outstanding Title by AAUP University Press Books for Public and Secondary School Libraries This is Olivia s story Born in Los Angeles, she is taken to Mexico to live with her extended family until the age of three Olivia th2012 Americo Paredes Book Award Winner for Non Fiction presented by the Center for Mexican American Studies at South Texas College Selected as a 2012 Outstanding Title by AAUP University Press Books for Public and Secondary School Libraries This is Olivia s story Born in Los Angeles, she is taken to Mexico to live with her extended family until the age of three Olivia then returns to L.A to live with her mother, Carmen, the live in maid to a wealthy family Mother and daughter sleep in the maid s room, just off the kitchen Olivia is raised alongside the other children of the family She goes to school with them, eats meals with them, and is taken shopping for clothes with them She is like a member of the family Except she is not Based on over twenty years of research, noted scholar Mary Romero brings Olivia s remarkable story to life We watch as she grows up among the children of privilege, struggles through adolescence, declares her independence and eventually goes off to college and becomes a successful professional Much of this extraordinary story is told in Olivia s voice and we hear of both her triumphs and setbacks We come to understand the painful realization of wanting to claim a Mexican heritage that is in many ways not her own and of her constant struggle to come to terms with the great contradictions in her life In The Maid s Daughter, Mary Romero explores this complex story about belonging, identity, and resistance, illustrating Olivia s challenge to establish her sense of identity, and the patterns of inclusion and exclusion in her life Romero points to the hidden costs of paid domestic labor that are transferred to the families of private household workers and nannies, and shows how everyday routines are important in maintaining and assuring that various forms of privilege are passed on from one generation to another Through Olivia s story, Romero shows how mythologies of meritocracy, the land of opportunity, and the American dream remain firmly in place while simultaneously erasing injustices and the struggles of the working poor.A happy ending for the maid s daughter Hector Tobar s profile of Olivia for the LA Times

    One Reply to “The Maid's Daughter: Living Inside and Outside the American Dream”

    1. Interesting sociological study of a woman who was raised as the daughter of a live-in maid in LA in the 1970s and 1980s. I have never read anything by this author before, but I recommend the book to anyone interested in class and cultural issues that arise from employing household "help." This is particularly interesting juxtaposed with The Help by Kathryn Stockett.

    2. This is an interesting look at what it is like to be caught between, not only Hispanic and white culture, but upper class and lower class culture. The young woman is treated almost like a member of the family. They even pay for her to go to her kids school. Amazingly, enough she finds it difficult. to fit into Hispanic culture after she has been to college. All of these upper class people don’t seem to have any culture, heritage, or values. All they are concerned about is making money.I notice [...]

    3. At the beginning I was sympathetic with Olivia. I felt her pain and understood what she was trying to say. What I was unable to understand is, why was she feeling this angry toward the people she lived with, who looked to me liked they really cared and loved her. She was so racist to them, not the opposite as she claimed. I felt that she was and still injustice to the family who raised her. If she wanted to blame anybody she should of blamed her own mother who took all the choices for her. She i [...]

    4. Non-fiction - A fascinating read about Olivia, a woman who grew up in a southern California upscale gated community in the late 60's and 70's. Her mother was a single woman who, through her networking, entrepreneurial, and negotiating skills, was a successful bread winner for a large family however most people only knew her as "Carmen, the maid." The author, Mary Romero, presents Olivia's experiences as "the maid's daughter" as well as her experiences as daughter of Carmen, respected provider of [...]

    5. I really wanted to like this book but it ended up being more academic/sociological than a story. The book has many anecdotes interspersed throughout but it really is at its core an academic book. All that to say, when the story gets told its very interesting & made me think a lot about privilege & how it influences opportunities. When the story gets told I really enjoyed it, when it gets on theory then I got frustrated- didn't want to be back in a sociology class from college.

    6. Romero's book is one of the best, most readable works of sociology I've ever read. It's a fascinating critique of the myths surrounding domestic labor. If you are troubled by all the buzz surrounding The Help, read this book for a more realistic take on the notion that privileged families treat domestic workers "like one of the family."

    7. Mary Romero spent over twenty years researching Mexican-Americans in the US. During the course of her research, she came to know one young woman who was being raised by her mother and her mother's employers in a gated community in California. Very interesting read.

    8. One does not need to be a maid's daughter to be able to relate to and understand the reality of intersecting forms of oppression. This book decentralizes the reader.

    9. Fantastic novel. It really helps you to look at the world from another perspective, and brings a lot of attention to issues that often aren't seen or talked about.

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