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Mothers and Motherhood: Readings in American History

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Mothers and Motherhood presents dramatic documentation of the social, cultural, demographic, medical, and political factors that shape the experience of motherhood. Organized into four sections, this collection opens with several articles that examine how society constructs images of motherhood and how the social definition of mothering changes over time. The next section examines the theme of reproduction, demonstrating how ideas about fertility shape the meaning of motherhood. The third section explores how ...
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Overview

Mothers and Motherhood presents dramatic documentation of the social, cultural, demographic, medical, and political factors that shape the experience of motherhood. Organized into four sections, this collection opens with several articles that examine how society constructs images of motherhood and how the social definition of mothering changes over time. The next section examines the theme of reproduction, demonstrating how ideas about fertility shape the meaning of motherhood. The third section explores how social variables - such as slavery and ethnic and religious backgrounds - affect the mothering experiences of women. The essays in the final section examine the links between mothers, mothering, and public policy. Designed for the general reader as well as students of women's history, women's studies, family history, sociology, and American studies, this volume should also be of great interest to politicians and policy makers. This book endeavors not only to teach about the history of mothers and motherhood but to inspire others to undertake their own research projects on the subject.
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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
A comprehensive collection of historical studies of mothers and motherhood, illustrating the shifting meaning of motherhood over time, the differences between mothers, and the kinds of evidence scholars use to study both the reality and the rhetoric of mothering. General themes are the social construction of motherhood, motherhood and reproduction, social and cultural settings, and public policy. Topics include maternal grief in , 1920-1985, pregnancy and family limitation among Virginia gentry women, 1780-1830, the La Leche League in postwar America, mothering under slavery in the antebellum South, and the beginnings of feminist birth control ideas in the US. Paper edition (unseen), $19.95. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780814207390
  • Publisher: Ohio State University Press
  • Publication date: 10/28/1997
  • Series: Women and Health Series
  • Edition description: 1
  • Pages: 496
  • Product dimensions: 7.00 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction: Mothers, Motherhood, and Historians
Pt. 1 Social Construction of Motherhood 1
1 The Cultural Significance of Breast-Feeding and Infant Care in Early Modern England and America 5
2 The Republican Vision of Mary Palmer Tyler 31
3 Mother's Love: The Construction of an Emotion in Nineteenth-Century America 52
4 The New Motherhood and the New View of Wet Nurses, 1780-1865 72
5 Constructing Mothers: Scientific Motherhood in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries 90
6 Confessions of Loss: Maternal Grief in True Story, 1920-1985 111
7 "I Wanted the Whole World to See": Race, Gender, and Constructions of Motherhood in the Death of Emmett Till 131
Pt. 2 Motherhood and Reproduction 171
8 "The Living Mother of a Living Child": Midwifery and Mortality in Post-Revolutionary New England 175
9 "Sally Has Been Sick": Pregnancy and Family Limitation among Virginia Gentry Women, 1780-1830 198
10 Motherhood Denied: Women and Infertility in Historical Perspective 216
11 Birthing and Anesthesia: The Debate over Twilight Sleep 242
12 African American Women and Abortion, 1800-1970 259
13 The Alternative Birth Movement in the United States: History and Current Status 278
Pt. 3 Social and Cultural Settings 293
14 Mothering under Slavery in the Antebellum South 297
15 "Sweet Good Mothers and Young Women Out in the World": The Roles of Irish American Women in Late Nineteenth- and Early Twentieth-Century Worcester, Massachusetts 319
16 Jewish Mothers and Immigrant Daughters: Positive and Negative Role Models 334
17 Social, Historical, Political, and Cultural Settings of Japanese American Motherhood, 1940-1990: The Tradition of Amae, Gambare, and Gaman in the American Midwest 351
18 Reconstructing Motherhood: The La Leche League in Postwar America 362
19 Diversity in Women's Liberation Ideology: How a Black and a White Group of the 1960s Viewed Motherhood 389
Pt. 4 Public Policy 417
20 Voluntary Motherhood: The Beginnings of Feminist Birth Control Ideas in the United States 423
21 "When the Birds Have Flown the Nest, the Mother-Work May Still Go On": Sentimental Maternalism and the National Congress of Mothers 444
22 "Go after the Women": Americanization and the Mexican Immigrant Woman, 1915-1929 475
23 Modernizing the Rural Mother: Gender, Class, and Health Reform in Illinois, 1910-1930 495
24 Regulating Industrial Homework: The Triumph of "Sacred Motherhood" 517
25 "Employable Mothers" and "Suitable Work": A Reevaluation of Welfare and Wage Earning for Women in the Twentieth-Century United States 539
Bibliography: Selected Further Readings 565
Contributors 575
Index 579
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