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Boxed up? Lunchboxes and expansive mothering outside home

Harman, Vicki and Cappellini, Benedetta (2017) Boxed up? Lunchboxes and expansive mothering outside home Families, Relationships and Societies, 7 (3). pp. 467-481.

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This article unpacks the experiences of 30 British women making lunchboxes for their children, and their opposition to opting for school dinners. Findings emerging from photo-elicitation interviews and focus group discussions show how mothers consider themselves the only social actor able to make a ‘proper lunchbox’. School dinners are considered a risky option for their children, and fathers’ interference in preparing lunchboxes is viewed with suspicion. The article shows how lunchboxes can be viewed as an expansion of intensive mothering: a way of making home away from home, stretching the intensive domestic care used for toddlers to school-aged children. Expansive mothering is characterised by mothers’ mediating role that places them between the child and the outside world. This role is mainly performed as a risk management activity aimed at recreating the domestic security outside the home, yet it also reinforces the message that feeding children is a mother’s domain.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > Department of Sociology
Authors :
Cappellini, Benedetta
Date : 14 August 2017
DOI : 10.1332/204674317X15009937780962
Copyright Disclaimer : © 2017 Policy Press. This is a post-peer-review, pre-copy edited version of an article published in Families, Relationships and Societies. The definitive publisher-authenticated version is available online at:
Uncontrolled Keywords : Consumption; Extensive mothering; Gender; Intensive mothering; Lunchbox; Risk management
Depositing User : Clive Harris
Date Deposited : 21 Nov 2017 12:04
Last Modified : 14 Dec 2018 14:25

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