Serfdom and high salaries: sociologist Alizée Delpierre investigates the servants of the super-rich

Behind the gates of private mansions, in the Haussmannian interiors of very beautiful Parisian districts, a strange cohabitation is taking place. Cooks, seamstresses and governesses, all full-time servants, work night and day in the service of a few thousand ultra-rich.

The sociologist Alizée Delpierre has investigated for several years among these millionaires and those who serve them, becoming herself a time nanny in the service of a wealthy family. She tells, from this place of discreet reproduction of inequalities that constitutes the home, how the former consolidate their class privilege by offering themselves the unlimited commitment of invisible workers who dream of social ascent.

Who are the domestic workers who work for the wealthy?

Alizée Delpierre. They are mostly women but there are also a few men, sometimes graduates, most of the time single. All work eight, ten hours a day, often more, sleep at their employer or nearby. These large houses are a magnifying mirror of the sexual division of labor. The servants from immigrant backgrounds, with few qualifications, and the women take care of the housework, the laundry or are kitchen clerks. The men are butlers, drivers, chefs. There is also a form of racial essentialization: for example, black women will be considered better nannies because they are supposed to be more loving. These stereotypes

This article is for subscribers only.
To read more, take advantage of our offers from €1

I test without obligation

By choosing this promotional subscription path, you accept the deposit of an analysis cookie by Google.

  • Secure payment
  • Without engagement
  • Access to customer service

Leave a Comment