The Servant Problem

Domestic Employment in a Global Economy

The Servant Problem

There are now more servants in Britain than in Victorian times. This explosion in paid domestic employment is part of a global trend. Women from countries such as the Philippines take on domestic jobs in order to support families at home, whilst students from Eastern Europe, the EU and Brazil work as au pairs in order to study English and improve their employment prospects. Cox shows how policies introduced and encouraged by governments and global financial organizations have made domestic employment cheaper, easier and more necessary, and she shows how these policies have intensified inequalities that make life worse for millions of people. Inequalities of income have increased dramatically, work practices have become less rather than more family friendly, changes in taxation and benefits have favored the most wealthy and punished the worst off, and childcare provision still expects women to stay at home and look after the children.—back cover.

Feminism and the Servant Problem

Feminism and the Servant Problem

Reveals a hidden history of women's suffrage from the perspectives of working-class women employed as domestic servants.

Fanny and the Servant Problem

Fanny and the Servant Problem

In this hilarious play from renowned English humorist Jerome K. Jerome, heroine Fanny is a well-regarded actress who marries an affluent artist. When she arrives at her new home, she finds that several of her relatives are employed by her new husband as part of his housekeeping staff.

The Photographer and the Servant Problem

The Photographer and the Servant Problem

When the Photographer is hired to kill a servant, he finds more than a mere thief plundering employers' homes...

The Servant Problem

The Servant Problem

Selling a whole town, and doing it inconspicuously, can be a little difficult. People don't quite believe it. . . . A tale from the Golden Age of science fiction, edited by the legendary John W. Campbell, Jr!

Maid in the U.S.A.

Maid in the U.S.A.

This is a classic work in the fields of Women's Studies and Sociology. On its 10th Anniversary, it is still a vital and moving study of the lives of immigrant domestic workers, and is constantly cited in the research. Romero's new introduction will offer a fresh look at the material, including more recent events, proving that the issues discussed in the book are still very relevant to today's world.

Seven Days a Week

Women and Domestic Service in Industrializing America

Seven Days a Week


Servants and Paternalism in the Works of Maria Edgeworth and Elizabeth Gaskell

Servants and Paternalism in the Works of Maria Edgeworth and Elizabeth Gaskell

Writing during periods of dramatic social change, Maria Edgeworth and Elizabeth Gaskell were both attracted to the idea of radical societal transformation at the same time that their writings express nostalgia for a traditional, paternalistic ruling class. Julie Nash shows how this tension is played out especially through the characters of servants in short fiction and novels such as Edgeworth's Castle Rackrent, Belinda, and Helen and Gaskell's North and South and Cranford. Servant characters, Nash contends, enable these writers to give voice to the contradictions inherent in the popular paternalistic philosophy of their times because the situation of domestic servitude itself embodies such inconsistencies. Servants, whose labor was essential to the economic and social function of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century British society, made up the largest category of workers in England by the nineteenth century and yet were expected to be socially invisible. At the same time, they lived in the same houses as their masters and mistresses and were privy to the most intimate details of their lives. Both Edgeworth and Gaskell created servant characters who challenge the social hierarchy, thus exposing the potential for dehumanization and corruption inherent in the paternalistic philosophy. Nash's study opens up important avenues for future scholars of women's fiction in the nineteenth century.