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Working Mothers: Performing Economic and Gender Ideologies

Guerrina, R (2014) Working Mothers: Performing Economic and Gender Ideologies In: Mothers, Mothering and Motherhood Across Cultural Differences: A Reader. Demeter Press, pp. 467-486. ISBN 9781927335390

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“Can women/mothers have it all?” is the opening question of Anne Marie Slaughter’s controversial article published in the Atlantic in 2011. Underpinning this question there are a number of assumptions about idealised notions of motherhood and its incompatibility with paid work (McQuillan et al, 2008). Unpacking the position of mothers in the employment market and the family has been one of those issues that has exercised both “traditionalists/conservatives” and “modernisers”. Like reproductive rights, women’s transition from fulfilling a role largely associated with caring in the domestic sphere to one that formally contributes to the productive economy, continues to be one of the fundamental question underpinning the equal rights debate. As the rights of women/mothers to full time employment are being set in opposition to the long term well being of their children, working mothers are increasingly being used by political leaders as a platform to debate austerity, welfare retrenchment and demographic trends. Women’s rights to engage in paid employment (on the par of men) are often juxtaposed to children’s welfare. Normative assumptions about attachment, and mothers’ ability to choose whether to engage in paid employment or not underpin this discussion, consolidating the position of the heteronormative traditional family as the dominant frame of reference.

Item Type: Book Section
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > Department of Politics
Authors :
Guerrina, R
Editors :
O'Reilly, A
Date : May 2014
Related URLs :
Additional Information : Full text may be available at a later date.
Depositing User : Symplectic Elements
Date Deposited : 19 Jan 2016 11:46
Last Modified : 31 Oct 2017 17:55

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