Cognitive Acrobatics in the Construction of Worker–mother Identity

Cognitive Acrobatics in the Construction of Worker–mother Identity This study uses dialectical theory to explore the interaction of worker identity (perceived financial need and job/career identity) and intensive mothering expectations in mothers’ identity construction. This study is based on extensive interviews with 98 at-home, part-time employed and full-time employed mothers of one or more pre-school children from the Midwestern United States. The narrative analysis reveals that mothers embrace intensive mothering expectations. Because of these cultural expectations, mothers must modify either societal mothering expectations or worker expectations in order to construct an integrated worker–mother identity. We found that while at-home mothers can embrace intensive mothering expectations, employed mothers engage in cognitive acrobatics to manage the tension between employment and the dominant mothering ideology. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Sex Roles Springer Journals

Cognitive Acrobatics in the Construction of Worker–mother Identity

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Publisher
Springer US
Copyright
Copyright © 2007 by Springer Science+Business Media, LLC
Subject
Psychology; Gender Studies; Sociology, general; Medicine/Public Health, general
ISSN
0360-0025
eISSN
1573-2762
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11199-007-9267-4
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

This study uses dialectical theory to explore the interaction of worker identity (perceived financial need and job/career identity) and intensive mothering expectations in mothers’ identity construction. This study is based on extensive interviews with 98 at-home, part-time employed and full-time employed mothers of one or more pre-school children from the Midwestern United States. The narrative analysis reveals that mothers embrace intensive mothering expectations. Because of these cultural expectations, mothers must modify either societal mothering expectations or worker expectations in order to construct an integrated worker–mother identity. We found that while at-home mothers can embrace intensive mothering expectations, employed mothers engage in cognitive acrobatics to manage the tension between employment and the dominant mothering ideology.

Journal

Sex RolesSpringer Journals

Published: Jul 20, 2007

References

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