What started as an awareness raising and ethnographic styled walk through Sierra Leone, this site now details the encounters of a not so academic academic who spends more time occupying Wall Street and squats than a university...

Monday, June 4, 2012

Segrating 'em early

Its so interesting seeing nanny behavior, and kids behavior.  Everyone seems to segregate themselves.  The white kids mostly play with white kids, black with black.  Maybe it's because of who they come there with, friends/family, or maybe its just where the playgrounds that they play in.  Of the two main playgrounds we go to, there are very different social circles and racial mixes.  The kids part that question is tough to get to far into without a lot of time and research though.  Most obviously to me right now is the nanny cliques that are so obviously segregated.  

I just left the library where the Caribbean crew of nanny's was.  They were all sitting around a table on tiny kids chairs, chatting away and texting on their phones while the kids ran rampant through the library under half an eye's supervision.  Somehow it fit so profoundly into stereotyped actions I've seen somewhere, movies or something.  Then of course there was the one white nanny with an Irish look to her, all alone and with a somber look on her face seemingly hoping for friends! 

And then here I am at the (mostly white kids) playground and here's the Asian nanny contingent (I heard later they are mostly Tibetan).  They are all speaking their local languages, but again segregated out, and the kids with them.  Mind you they pretty much all have white kids they are watching.  Then of course there are the kids that come themselves, they come in groups.  A lot here are middle school aged or after even. They stick to racial lines it seems as well.  Not sure why.  I can't understand how they aren't all just mixed as the neighborhood is and the playground would seemingly offer years of that possibility.  I'm looking for me at that age, walking up to George just cause he was new and didn't seem to know anyone.  And there where I grew up, he was a true minority.  Funny that in Brooklyn you wouldn't see that.  Things almost seem more segregated here.  Living amongst each other in strong enough numbers that you don't have to mix.

Not sure what these observations really mean, kids are kids and the dynamics are beyond simple observations.  But the nanny part of it to me was quite interesting and profound.  I mean the girl I look after has a best friend due to their nanny's being friends.  Their parents have nothing in common and are actually quite opposite.  but the kids are friends.  Latino nanny's, white kids that became best friends.  My brother categorized the one crew as the Nordic Nanny Mafia.  This was apparently the crew that I was co-mingled with.  And odd way to chose friends.  And even more interesting to see the way these social dynamics play out on such incredibly different levels of society. 

But anyway, segregated nannying... Odd.

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