We explore the construction of family in contemporary families that employ professional providers of childcare and elder care. We find that families and caregivers at times construct family together, including the caregiver as a family member, while at other times, consumers construct family in ways that exclude the caregiver. Through our exploration of these various ways of constructing family, we offer three theoretical contributions. First, we challenge traditional distinctions between consumers and producers and highlight the fluid, contextualised nature of family by demonstrating that some contemporary constructions of family include paid service providers. Second, we elucidate the ways in which the provision and consumption of a service, everyday care, produces a liminal position for some service providers. Finally, we develop a broader understanding of the ways in which performances of family protect cultural values.
Barnhart, M., Dinnin Huff, A., & Cotte, J. (2014). Like a member of the family: including and excluding paid caregivers in performances of family. Journal of Marketing Managment, 30(15-16), 1680-1702. https://doi.org/10.1080/0267257X.2014.933865