They'Re All My Children

They'Re All My Children

by Danielle Wozniak
     
 

ISBN-10: 0814793460

ISBN-13: 9780814793466

Pub. Date: 12/01/2001

Publisher: New York University Press

The first book on foster care written from foster mothers' perspectives, They're All My Children voices the often painful experiences of contemporary U.S. foster mothers as they struggle to mother and care-work in the face of exploitative social relations with the state. Drawing on extensive ethnographic research, Wozniak, herself a former foster mother and an

Overview

The first book on foster care written from foster mothers' perspectives, They're All My Children voices the often painful experiences of contemporary U.S. foster mothers as they struggle to mother and care-work in the face of exploitative social relations with the state. Drawing on extensive ethnographic research, Wozniak, herself a former foster mother and an anthropologist, presents and analyzes women's personal stories about fostering to reflect on the larger socio-cultural context of American family life—namely, how we think about kinship, identity, and work. Foster mothers construct enduring kinship relationships with children, and often with the children's biological families. These relationships enhance children's chances to growth and thrive and in turn extend women's kin relationships into often distant and disparate communities. Wozniak also highlights the economic side of fostering to show how foster mothers are both mothers and workers; foster children are both providers and provided for, adored sentimental children and economic figures.

Through in-depth interviews and participant observation, Wozniak argues that we have not gone far enough in understanding the experiences of these women whose life work lies outside the usual boundaries. Nor have child welfare gone far enough in revising the theories upon which child welfare policies are based. Foster mothers and their experiences challenge the patriarchal, nuclear family ideals upon which foster care programs are based, a challenge that They're All My Children takes forward.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780814793466
Publisher:
New York University Press
Publication date:
12/01/2001
Pages:
245
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 6.00(d)

Related Subjects

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsix
1Introduction1
2Portrait of a Foster Mother (1): "They're All My Children, They're All My Family"15
3Mothers and Workers: Becoming a Foster Mother35
4"I'm Their Mother": Fostering, Motherhood, and the Construction of Kinship63
5Managing Difference, Coping with Delegitimation: Foster Mothers as Nonmothers84
6Mothering Work and the Art of Fostering105
7Familial Changes: Integrating Foster Children into the Foster Family128
8"They Picked Up the Baby and the Baby Was Gone": Mothering and Loss149
9Portrait of a Foster Mother (2): Motherhood, Loss, and Social Action164
10"I Wanna Make It through the Week"186
11Conclusion210
AppendixAbout This Study217
Notes225
References233
Index243
About the Author245

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >