Mothers Unite!: Organizing for Workplace Flexibility and the Transformation of Family Life

Mothers Unite!: Organizing for Workplace Flexibility and the Transformation of Family Life

by Jocelyn Elise Crowley


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In Mothers Unite!, a bold and hopeful new rallying cry for changing the relationship between home and the workplace, Jocelyn Elise Crowley envisions a genuine, universal world of workplace flexibility that helps mothers who stay at home, those who work part time, and those who work full time balance their commitments to their jobs and their families. Achieving this goal, she argues, will require a broad-based movement that harnesses the energy of existing organizations of mothers that already support workplace flexibility in their own ways.

Crowley examines the efforts of five diverse national mothers’ organizations: Mocha Moms, which aims to assist mothers of color; Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS), which stresses the promotion of Christian values; Mothers & More, which emphasizes support for those moving in and out of the paid workforce; MomsRising, which focuses on online political advocacy; and the National Association of Mothers' Centers (NAMC), which highlights community-based networking. After providing an engaging and detailed account of the history, membership profiles, strategies, and successes of each of these organizations, Crowley suggests actions that will allow greater workplace flexibility to become a viable reality and points to many opportunities to promote intergroup mobilization and unite mothers once and for all.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780801451751
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Publication date: 06/15/2013
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 14.60(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Jocelyn Elise Crowley is Professor of Public Policy at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, as well as a member of the Graduate Faculty in the Department of Political Science and Affiliated Faculty Member of the Department of Women's and Gender Studies. She is the author of Defiant Dads: Fathers’ Rights Activists in America, also from Cornell, and The Politics of Child Support in America. Visit her website at

Table of Contents

1. American Mothers, American Troubles2. Power in Numbers3. Why Join? 4. Do Mommy War Attitudes Prevent Organizing? 5. Workplace Flexibility Options6. Are We in a Movement Now? Can We Get There? 7. Mothers Need Leadership TooAppendix: Interview Research Methodology

What People are Saying About This

Anne-Marie Slaughter

"Mothers Unite! helps us understand an issue that completely puzzles citizens from other countries: why the over 70 percent of American women who work outside the home do not mobilize politically around issues of daycare, maternity leave, and flexible work practices. Better still, it offers a blueprint for change. A very interesting read!"

Kathleen Gerson

"Kudos to Jocelyn Elise Crowley for addressing a question that few have dared ask: How can we bridge the real and illusory divides that separate employed and nonemployed women? While others focus on the putative mommy wars, Crowley shows clearly and convincingly that mothers from diverse backgrounds share common interests and possess the potential to become a powerful political force. This book is a must for anyone who cares about creating a more flexible, humane, and family-supportive workplace."

Judith Warner

"Mothers Unite! takes us beyond the Mommy Wars to paint a picture of hope: the prospect of diverse mothers' groups coming together to work for a better future. Jocelyn Elise Crowley intelligently unpacks abstract ideas about flexibility and mothers' solidarity (or lack thereof) to provide a clear road map for moving forward. Her book will open endless avenues for activism on behalf of families. She has made a truly meaningful contribution."

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