Transformative Motherhood: On Giving and Getting in a Consumer Culture

Transformative Motherhood: On Giving and Getting in a Consumer Culture

by Linda Layne, David B. Kopel, Brannon Denning
     
 

Our consumer culture sets exacting standards and norms for what constitutes an ideal child. The tough realities of life often create children and child-bearing and rearing circumstances that are outside the ideal. How do women whose experiences don't match the norm cope and adapt? How do they make sense of it to themselves and to the world?

In a rich series of

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Overview

Our consumer culture sets exacting standards and norms for what constitutes an ideal child. The tough realities of life often create children and child-bearing and rearing circumstances that are outside the ideal. How do women whose experiences don't match the norm cope and adapt? How do they make sense of it to themselves and to the world?

In a rich series of ethnographic case studies, Transformative Motherhood intimately conveys the experiences of women in the United States who, in each case, have reproductive encounters that do not match up to these cultural standards. From women who choose to become surrogate, foster, or adoptive mothers, to others who give birth to children with disabilities or who have had a pregnancy loss, all creatively meet the challenges posed by their particular mothering experiences. It is often the language of giving and getting, so prominent in a consumer culture, that these women use to make sense of their situation.

In the process, Transformative Motherhood redefines conventional understandings of motherhood, the mother/child relationship, and the role of biology and the law in determining what constitutes a family.

The contributors include Rayna Rapp, Helena Ragone, Judith A. Modell, Danielle Wozniak, Gail Landsman, and Linda L. Layne.

"This text opens up multiple possibilities for reading contemporary women as responsive speaking subjects involved in reconstructing and transferring meanings without consolidating or totalizing their outcomes."
Resources for Feminist Research, Winter/Spring 2001, Vol. 28, No. ¾

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From the Publisher
"This text opens up multiple possibilities for reading contemporary women as responsive speaking subjects involved in reconstructing and transferring meanings without consolidating or totalizing their outcomes."

-Resources for Feminist Research,Winter/Spring 2001, Vol. 28

Resources for Feminist Research
This text opens up multiple possibilities for reading contemporary women as responsive speaking subjects involved in reconstructing and transferring meanings without consolidating or totalizing their outcomes.
Booknews
Using case studies of women who have had mothering experiences that do not necessarily match our cultural understanding of the term, such as women who have been surrogates, taken in foster children, or adopted children, and even those who have birthed children with disabilities, contributors explore our images and ideas about motherhood, the mother-child relationship, and the role that biology and the law play in determining what constitutes a family. The essays were first presented in 1997 at the American Anthropological Association's annual meeting. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780814751541
Publisher:
New York University Press
Publication date:
08/01/1999
Pages:
240
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

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From the Publisher

"This text opens up multiple possibilities for reading contemporary women as responsive speaking subjects involved in reconstructing and transferring meanings without consolidating or totalizing their outcomes."

-Resources for Feminist Research,Winter/Spring 2001, Vol. 28, No. ¾

Meet the Author

Linda L. Layne is Hale Professor of Anthropology in the Department of Science and Technology Studies at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

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