Collection: NJMR Special Issue - Volume 6, Issue 4

Special Issue Article

“Now I Know Norway from Within”: Boundary Work and Belonging in Au Pairs’ Narratives



This article analyses how female au pairs from the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) perceive some aspects of Norwegian society – public arrangements and rules; localities and social environment; and privacy and culture of parenting – to express their belonging to it. Applying the concept of boundary work, and drawing on in-depth biographical interviews with current and former au pairs, I show how they find their own place in a new context. I argue that boundary work through comparisons with the hosting Other and active reflection on differences and similarities of Norwegian and post-Soviet realities enables au pairs to appropriate new cultural and social sources and become more enthusiastic about subsequent integration in the host country.


Au pair migrationboundary workbelongingNorwayCIS countries
  • Year: 2016
  • Volume: 6 Issue: 4
  • Page/Article: 224-233
  • DOI: 10.1515/njmr-2016-0032
  • Published on 1 Dec 2016
  • Peer Reviewed