Consuming Motherhood / Edition 1

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"An intellectually courageous, fresh, and timely collection of essays . . . .This cutting edge volume breathes new life into reproduction studies." -Lynn M. Morgan, Mount Holyoke College

"Brings together well-known and accomplished scholars to reveal and analyze the complexities of the collision between motherhood and consumption . . . . a well-integrated and surprisingly original volume." -Sarah Franklin, author of Embodied Progress: A Cultural Account of Assisted Conception

Consuming Motherhood addresses the provocative question of how motherhood and consumption-as ideologies and as patterns of social action-mutually shape and constitute each other in contemporary North American and European social life. Ideologically, motherhood and consumption are often constructed in opposition to each other, with motherhood standing in as a naturalized social relation that is thought to be uniquely free of the calculating instrumentality that dominates commercial relations. Yet, in social life, motherhood and consumption are inseparable. Whether shopping for children's clothing or childbirth services, or making decisions about adopting children, becoming a mother (and maternal practice more generally) is deeply influenced by consumption. How can the relationship between motherhood and consumption be revealed, and critically analyzed? Consuming Motherhood brings together a group of sociologists, anthropologists, and religious studies scholars to address this question through carefully grounded ethnographic studies. This insightful book reveals how mothers negotiate the contradictory forces that position them as both immune from and the target of consumerist tendencies in contemporary globalsociety.

Janelle S. Taylor is an assistant professor at the University of Washington. Linda L. Layne is Hale Professor of the Humanities and Social Sciences at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Danielle F. Wozniak is a research scientist and adjunct professor at the University of Connecticut.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813534305
  • Publisher: Rutgers University Press
  • Publication date: 8/28/2004
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 6.08 (w) x 8.98 (h) x 0.76 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
Motherhood under capitalism 19
How infants grow mothers in North London 31
Maternity and materiality : becoming a mother in consumer culture 55
"What will I do with all the toys now?" : consumption and the signification of kinship in U.S. fostering relationships 72
"Too bad you got a lemon" : Peter Singer, mothers of children with disabilities, and the critique of consumer culture 100
Making memories : trauma, choice, and consumer culture in the case of pregnancy loss 122
Maternal labor in a transnational circuit 139
Going "home" : adoption, exclusive belongings, and the mythology of roots 168
A fetish is born : sonographers and the making of the public fetus 187
Consuming childbirth : the qualified commodification of midwifery care 211
Mothers between God and mammon : feminist interpretations in childbirth 249
Commoditizing kinship in America 271
Caught in the current 279
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