Constructing the “Good Mother”: The Experience of Mothering Ideologies by Work Status

Constructing the “Good Mother”: The Experience of Mothering Ideologies by Work Status The purpose of this study was to explore how mothers construct their worker–parent identity within a cultural context of competing mothering ideologies. We used narrative data from interviews with 95 married mothers with at least 1 child under the age of 5 to compare the construction of intensive mothering expectations by middle-class full-time employed mothers, part-time employed mothers, and at-home mothers. Although previous research has shown that mothers alter work status to live up to intensive mothering expectations, our results show that mothers also alter their construction of intensive mothering expectations to reconcile these demands with their work status choices. The results also suggest that mothers with different employment decisions differ in their construction of Y. Elvin-Nowak and H. Thomsson's (2001) 3 discursive positions—accessibility, happy mother/happy child, and separation of work and home. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Sex Roles Springer Journals

Constructing the “Good Mother”: The Experience of Mothering Ideologies by Work Status

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Publisher
Kluwer Academic Publishers-Plenum Publishers
Copyright
Copyright © 2006 by Springer Science+Business Media, Inc.
Subject
Psychology; Gender Studies; Sociology, general; Medicine/Public Health, general
ISSN
0360-0025
eISSN
1573-2762
D.O.I.
10.1007/s11199-006-9021-3
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to explore how mothers construct their worker–parent identity within a cultural context of competing mothering ideologies. We used narrative data from interviews with 95 married mothers with at least 1 child under the age of 5 to compare the construction of intensive mothering expectations by middle-class full-time employed mothers, part-time employed mothers, and at-home mothers. Although previous research has shown that mothers alter work status to live up to intensive mothering expectations, our results show that mothers also alter their construction of intensive mothering expectations to reconcile these demands with their work status choices. The results also suggest that mothers with different employment decisions differ in their construction of Y. Elvin-Nowak and H. Thomsson's (2001) 3 discursive positions—accessibility, happy mother/happy child, and separation of work and home.

Journal

Sex RolesSpringer Journals

Published: Nov 2, 2006

References

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