Mothers and Children: Feminist Analyses and Personal Narratives / Edition 1

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"A skillful balance of feminist scholarship and first-person accounts, Mothers and Children richly conveys the many challenges and pleasures of feminist motherhood. Clear, insightful, and moving, the book is ideal for classroom use." --Linda L. Layne, author of Motherhood Lost: A Feminist Anthropological Analysis of Pregnancy and Loss

"Mothers and Children brings theory and experience together to show the complexity of feminist thinking about motherhood. It is a wonderful contribution to the literature on feminism and motherhood." --Lauri Umansky, author of Motherhood Reconceived: Feminism and the Legacies of the Sixties

This feminist exploration of mothers, mothering, and motherhood combines evaluations of empirical and theoretical work with personal narratives by mothers or caregivers. While the authors' analyses yield suggestions for new approaches to motherhood, the narratives vividly demonstrate the relevance of these issues to women's lives. The result is a nuanced picture of the complex realities mothers face, as well as their struggles, joys, and hopes for their children. In the book's first part, "Social Constructions of Motherhood," Chase and Rogers argue that dominant western views of motherhood have been and continue to be detrimental to most mothers and children. In the second part, "Maternal Bodies," the authors attend to the ways that American society and women themselves have regarded the physical aspects of motherhood. Mothers' bodies, the authors contend, have long been objects of cultural and political struggle. The final part, "Mothering in Everyday Life," suggests that only an understanding of the daily realities of mothering will lead to social and political changes promoting the welfare of mothers and children.

Susan E. Chase teaches sociology and women's studies at the University of Tulsa. She is the author of Ambiguous Empowerment: The Work Narratives of Women School Superintendents. Mary F. Rogers teaches sociology and women's studies at the University of West Florida. She is the author of Barbie Culture and several other books.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780813528762
  • Publisher: Rutgers University Press
  • Publication date: 2/1/2001
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 372
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Susan E. Chase teaches sociology and women's studies at the University of Tulsa. She is the author of Ambiguous Empowerment: The Work Narratives of Women School Superintendents. Mary F. Rogers teaches sociology and women's studies at the University of West Florida. She is the author of Barbie Culture and several other books.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi
Introduction xiii
Part 1 Social Constructions of Motherhood
Chapter 1 Motherhood and Feminism 3
Narrative A A Mother's Story 21
Narrative B A Mother's Story 25
Chapter 2 "Good" Mothers and "Bad" Mothers 30
Narrative C Investing in the Future 48
Narrative D On Being the "Bad" Mother of an Autistic Child 52
Chapter 3 The Institution and Experience of Motherhood 60
Narrative E She's Leaving Home 78
Narrative F Reflections of a Feminist Mom 81
Chapter 4 Fatherlessness, Men, and Mothering 86
Narrative G Parenting in Transition 103
Narrative H The Materiality of Theory 108
Narrative I A Geometry of Lilies 109
Part 2 Maternal Bodies
Chapter 5 Mothers, Sexuality, and Eros 115
Narrative J Mother and Child: The Erotic Bond 134
Chapter 6 Pregnancy and Childbirth 144
Narrative K Childbirth with Power 163
Narrative L Childbirth with Fear 168
Chapter 7 Family Making and Reproductive Technologies 174
Narrative M Adoption Rights and Reproductive Wrongs 190
Narrative N A Tale of Scientific Pregnancy 196
Part 3 Mothering in Everyday Life
Chapter 8 Mothers and Children over the Life Course 203
Narrative O I Am a Feminist 221
Narrative P Thinking about Jennifer 223
Narrative Q I Am My Mother's Keeper 228
Chapter 9 Othermothering 234
Narrative R The Godmother Network 249
Narrative S "Why Do White People Have Vaginas?" 251
Chapter 10 Mothering as Political Action 259
Narrative T Statement to the Court 273
Narrative U Sometimes the Road Gets Lonely 275
Epilogue 283
Notes 289
Selected Bibliography 327
Index 335
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