Table of Contents
Articles - Abstracts
Articles - Abstracts Table of Contents
Books - Abstracts
Books - Abstracts

Maternal Health and WellBeing

--- Articles ---

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Care Economics Equity Family Feminism Midwives-MatCH Nurses Mothers My Articles Psychoanalysis Sociology Transition


Care Economics Equity Family Feminism Midwives-MatCH Nurses Mothers My Articles Psychoanalysis Sociology Transition

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--- Transition to Parenthood ---
The Transition to Parenthood is a social psychology term to describe the adjustments that both men and women negotiate when they become first-time parents. These adjustments are said to begin during the nine months before the birth and carry on into the first two years afterwards. The indicators generally fall under the categories of: changes to identity; changes to life course; changes to relationships (including partner, friends and family); and negotiating more housework. A further and central element in this transition is in the developing relationship between the mother and her infant/child, the interpersonal dimension of care. A major European study on work-family boundaries called Transitions concluded that 'gender shapes parenthood and makes motherhood different from fatherhood both in everyday family life and in the workplace'. The transition to parenthood was identified by Nilsen and Brannen (2005) as critical in attempts to achieve gender equal outcomes.

--- Abstracts ---
Division of Labor and Working-Class Women’s Well-Being Across the Transition to Parenthood, 2004, Golberg and Perry-Jenkins, Journal of Family Psychology, vol. 18, no. 1, 225-236
This study examines the degree to which the division of household and child-care tasks predicts working-class women’s well-being across the transition to parenthood. Women completed questionnaires about the division of labor and their well-being before the birth of their first child and upon returning to work. Results showed that violated expectations regarding the division of child care were associated with increased distress postnatally, and there was some evidence that this relationship was moderated by gender ideology. Traditional women whose husbands did more child care than they expected them to do were more distressed. Work status also moderated the relationship between violated expectations and distress. The results suggest that the division of child care is more salient in predicting distress than the division of housework, for working-class women, at this time point.
Parenting Stress among Adolescent Mothers in the Transition to Adulthood, Nancy C. Larson, 2004, Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal, Vol. 21, No. 5, pp. 457-476
This study assessed the existence and nature of parenting stress among 187adolescent mothers over a period of two and one half years across their eldest child's preschool years. Although the majority of mothers did not report elevated levels of stress, approximately thirty percent of the sample reported clinically high levels of stress at any one of the six measurement points. Criticism from a parent regarding their childrearing and intimate partner violence were both found to be related to perceptions of parenting stress. Implications for practice, including the use of the Parenting Stress Index (PSI) as a clinical screening tool, are noted.
Postnataldepression among mothers in the United Arab Emirates: Socio-cultural and physical factors, 2006, Katherine Green, Hazel Broom, James Mirabella, Psychology, Health and Medicine, November; 11 (4)
Postnatal depression (PND) has been found to affect women in cultures around the world. This study sought to further identify the prevalence and related socio-cultural and physical factors in Arab women from the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The study involved a sample of Emirati women recruited in a government maternity hospital in Abu Dhabi who completed demographic questionnaires soon after giving birth (n=125) and the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) at 3 months (n=86) and 6 months postpartum (n=56). Data are presented in three categories of: No Depression (scores of 0-9), Borderline Depression (scores of 10-12) and Depression (scores of 13+). It was found that at 3 months, this sample had 22% of mothers falling into the Depression category and another 22% falling in the Borderline Depression category. At 6 months, this fell to 12.5% Depression category and 19.6% Borderline Depression category. Relationships between higher depression scores and risk factors included; not breastfeeding, giving birth to the first child, poor self body image and view of weight, poor relationship with mother-in-law, and an older age at marriage. Results are discussed in relation to UAE and Islamic culture.

Prediction of postpartum depression by sociodemographic, obstetric and psychological factors: a prospective study, 2008, Yong-Ku, Ji-Won, Kye-Hyun, Psychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences, 62 pp. 331-340
AIM: Many studies have documented serious effects of postpartum depression. This prospective study sought to determine predictive factors for postpartum depression. METHODS: Pregnant women (n = 239) were enrolled before 24 weeks in their pregnancy. At 6 weeks postpartum, 30 women who had postpartum depression and 30 non-depressed mothers were selected. The Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS), the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), the Beck Anxiety Inventory (BAI), the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale (RSES) Marital Satisfaction Scale (MSS), and the Childcare Stress Inventory (CSI) were administered to all 60 mothers at 24 weeks pregnancy, 1 week postpartum, and 6 weeks postpartum. RESULTS: The differences in most of the diverse sociodemographic and obstetric factors assessed were not statistically significant. There were significant differences in MSS scores at 24 weeks pregnancy (P = 0.003), and EPDS (P < 0.001; P = 0.002), BDI (P = 0.001; P = 0.031), and BAI (P < 0.001; P < 0.001) at both 24 weeks pregnant and 1 week postpartum, while there was no significant difference in the RSES scores at 24 weeks pregnant (P = 0.065). A logistic regression analysis was performed on the following factors: 'depressive symptoms immediately after delivery' (EPDS and BDI at 1 week postpartum), 'anxiety' (BAI prepartum), 'stress factors from relationships' (MSS prepartum and CSI at 1 week postpartum) or 'self-esteem' (RSES prepartum). When these four factors were added individually to a model of the prepartum depressive symptoms (EPDS and BDI prepartum), no additional effect was found. CONCLUSIONS: The optimum psychological predictor is prepartum depression, and other psychological measures appear to bring no significant additional predictive power.
Transitions to Parenthood His Hers and Theirs, 1985, Carolyn Pape Cowan, Philip Cowan, Journal of Family Issues, 6 (4), December, p. 451
This study explores marital processes that may underlie the apparent decline in satisfaction with marriage in partners becoming parents for the first time. We assessed 47 couples expecting a first child and 15 couples not yet decided about having children at present, post 1 (6 months postpartum or 9 months after pretest) and post 2 (18 months postpartum or 21 months after pretest). Questionnaires examined (1) psychological sense of self; (2) partners' role arrangements and communication; (3) parenting ideology; (4) perceptions of the family of origin; and (5) social support and life stress, including parents' work patterns. Support was found for three hypothesis: (1) In four of the five family domains men and women having a first child showed more negative changes over time than nonparent spouses; (2) New fathers and mothers grew increasingly different from one another in most of these domains; (3) A combination of gender differentiation and change (increasing conflict) apparently contributed to lowered satisfaction with marriage for men and women.

It looks good on paper': transitions of care between midwives and child and family health nurses in New South Wales, 2009, Women and Birth, 22, pp. 64-72
BACKGROUND: The way in which women and their babies transition from maternity services to the care of child and family health nurses differs across Australia. The aim of the study was to understand the transition of care from one service to another and how to promote collaboration in the first few weeks after the birth. METHOD: A descriptive study was undertaken. All midwifery, child and family health and Families NSW managers in NSW were invited to participate by completing a questionnaire. RESULTS: There was a wide range of transition of care models. These varied by setting, geography, context and history. Three main models emerged from the analysis. These were as follows: DISCUSSION: There were a range of different models of transition of care identified in NSW depending on local context, expertise, interests and policies. Some are very structured and others have developed and evolved over time. Many models seem to be dependant on the goodwill and enthusiasm of individual clinicians. CONCLUSION: A more coordinated and systematised approach needs to be developed. Collaboration and communication between midwives and child and family health nurses is essential if the needs of families are to be addressed during this transition period.

Resilient Young Mothering: Social Inequalities, Late Modernity and the 'Problem' of 'Teenage' Motherhood, 2005, Elizabeth McDermott and Hilary Graham, Journal of Youth Studies, Vol. 8, No. 1, pp. 59-79
This paper draws on a systematic review of qualitative research to explore the resilient mothering practices that young, British, working-class mothers employ to care for their children. The synthesis of studies of UK mothers under the age of 20 demonstrates how young working-class women must mother in impoverished circumstances, at the same time as being discursively positioned outside the boundaries of 'normal' motherhood. Consequently, they utilize the only two resources to which they may have access: their families and their own personal capacities. Engaging with debates regarding the extent of the transformations of the social in late modernity, the paper discusses the most prominent of the young mothers' practices: investment in the 'good' mother identity, maintaining kin relations, and prioritization of the mother/child dyad. The paper argues that, while the young mothers' practices display reflexivity and individualism, they are also deeply embedded in, and structured by, social inequalities.
Transitions to Parenthood work-family policies, gender, and the couple context, 2005, Singley and Hynes, Gender and Society, vol. 19. no. 3, pp. 376-397
Can work-family policies promote greater gender equity in family roles? Using interviews with couples from upstate New York, we examine the role of work-family policies in the decisions dual-earning married couples make about paid work during the transition to parenthood. During the period immediately around a birth, differences in mothers' and fathers' access to paid time off from work interacted with their parenting role ideologies to influence gender differences in paid work arrangements. After the initial transition, employed women used and created more flexibility in their work arrangements than their husbands, often reducing their husbands' need to use available work-family policies.

The transition to coparenthood: parents' prebirth expectations and early coparental adjustment at 3 months postpartum, 2004, McHale, Kazali, Rotman, Talbot, Development and Psychopathology, 16, pp. 711-733
In the decade since the first observationally based empirical studies of coparenting process in nuclear families made their mark, most investigations of early coparenting dynamics have examined whether and how such dynamics drive child development trajectories, rather than identifying factors that may contribute to the differential development of such dynamics in the first place. In this prospective study, we examined both individual-representational and dyadic-interpersonal predictors of early coparental process. Fifty, married couples expecting their first child portrayed their expectations and concerns about family life after the baby's arrival, and took part in a set of problem-solving tasks used to help evaluate marital quality. Both mothers' and fathers' prebaby expectations about the future family, and prenatal marital quality, predicted observed coparenting cohesion at 3 months postpartum. Maternal- and marriage-coparenting trajectories differed as a function of infant characteristics, with pathways most pronounced when infants were rated high in negative reactivity. Results reveal how the prenatal environment can come to shape early coparenting process, and indicate that family models must take into account the role that child characteristics can play in altering prebirth-postpartum pathways.
The construction of motherhood: tasks, relational connections, and gender equality, 2005, Cowdery and Knudson-Martin, Family Relations, 54, July, pp. 335-345
This qualitative analysis of 50 couples explored how gender equality is related to the construction of motherhood in their day-to-day interactions. Results identified two models of mothering: (a) mothering as a gendered talent and (b) mothering as conscious collaboration. The first model perpetuated gender inequality through a recursive task-relationship cycle between mothers and children. More equal couples consciously collaborated to create a task-relationship spiral for fathers as well as mothers. Processes involved in each view of mothering were discussed relative to the distribution of parenting tasks. The findings suggest that families would benefit from education and clinical approaches that address gender and power, encourage open discussion regarding how child care choices are made, and develop new skills for both genders.

The division of labour across the transition to parenthood: a justice perspective, 2002, Kluwer, Heesink and Van De Vliert, Journal of Marriage and Family, 64, November, pp. 930-943
In a three-wave longitudinal survey among 293 couples, we studied the determinants of husbands' and wives' fairness judgments regarding the division of labor across the transition to parenthood. We tested predictions derived from the distributive justice framework that perceptions of fairness regarding the division of labor are affected by (a) wants and values, (b) social comparisons, and (c) procedural justice. The model was supported for wives at all waves. For husbands, wants and values and social comparisons were the main predictors of fairness perceptions. In general, the model was consistently supported across the transition to parenthood. Support was also found for the long-term influence of the variables in the model on husbands' and wives' perceptions of fairness across the transition to parenthood.
A prime time for marital/relational intervention: a review of the transition to parenthood literature with treatment recommendations, 2005, Glade, Bean and Vira, The American Journal of Family Therapy, 33
The transition to parenthood is a near universal experience for individuals and families, yet there is a severe lack of applied research and clinical treatment guidelines. Justification for a greater clinical emphasis on this transition is made through a review of the common changes experienced by new parents. Intervention guidelines are offered in the areas of client/participant recruitment, assessment, and clinical areas of focus. Specific topics that should be addressed in treatment include the parents' family-of-origin influences and individual personality characteristics, changes experienced in the couple relationship, and important contextual issues.
Parenthood experiences during the child's first year: literature review, 2004, Nystrom, Ohrling, Journal of Advanced Nursing, 46 (3) pp. 319-330
BACKGROUND: Raising a child is probably the most challenging responsibility faced by a new parent. The first year is the basis of the child's development and is significant for growth and development. Knowledge and understanding of parents' experiences are especially important for child health nurses, whose role is to support parents in their parenthood. AIM: The aim of this review was to describe mothers' and fathers' experiences of parenthood during the child's first year. METHOD: A literature search covering 1992-2002 was carried out using the terms parenthood, parenting, first year, infancy and experience. Of the 88 articles retrieved, 33 articles (both qualitative and quantitative) met the inclusion criteria and corresponded to the aim of this review. The data were analysed by thematic content analysis. FINDINGS: Being a parent during the child's first year was experienced as overwhelming. The findings were described from two perspectives, namely mothers' and fathers' perspectives, since all the included studies considered mothers' and fathers' experiences separately. The following categories were identified concerning mothers: being satisfied and confident as a mother, being primarily responsible for the child is overwhelming and causes strain, struggling with the limited time available for oneself, and being fatigued and drained. The following categories were found for fathers: being confident as a father and as a partner, living up to the new demands causes strain, being prevented from achieving closeness to the child is hurtful, and being the protector and the provider of the family. The unifying theme for these categories was 'living in a new and overwhelming world'. CONCLUSION: There is a need for nurse interventions aimed at minimizing parents' experiences of strain. A suggested intervention is to find a method whereby child health nurses' support would lead to parents becoming empowered in their parenthood.

--- Transition to Parenthood Pdf Files ---


  • Lifecourse Pathways and Housework Time: Australia and the United Kingdom
  • Population, Gender and Reproductive Choice The Motherhood Questions Directions for Policy.
  • Gender, parenthood and the changing european workplace: Young adults negotiating the work-family boundary
  • Transitions E.U. Report Gender, Parenthood and the changing European workplace"

  • --- Midwives - Maternal and Child Nurses ---
    Midwives and Maternal and Child Health Nurses are critical touchstones between women-as-mothers and the health and social systems. Battles by midwives and mothers for improvements to birthing practices have led to a blossoming of information and new approaches to birth and the care of both infant and mother. These movements have been accompanied by calls for improvements to post- natal services and yet practitioners are often held back by a continuing government emphasis on cash handouts; privatized care. A current review of Maternal and Child Health Services in Australia is formulating a basis for national guidelines, policy and practice. Over the course of the twentieth century Maternal and Child Health Nurses have been principally concerned with the health of the child and the physical recovery of the woman-as-mother; while assisting her transition to her new maternal 'role'. The medical aspect of birth pales in significance to this social and cultural dimension of early mothering/fathering, particularly in this period of social change.

    --- Abstracts ---
    Becoming a mother versus maternal role attainment, R. Mercer, 2004, Journal of Nursing Scholarship, 36, 3
    PURPOSE: To present evidence for replacing the term maternal role attainment (MRA), with becoming a mother (BAM). METHOD: A review of the evolution of MRA and a synthesis of research emanating from the theory was done, followed by synthesis of current research on the transition to motherhood. FINDINGS: A woman establishes maternal identity as she becomes a mother through her commitment to and involvement in defining her new self. Maternal identity continues to evolve as the mother acquires new skills to regain her confidence in self as new challenges arise. CONCLUSIONS: BAM more accurately encompasses the dynamic transformation and evolution of a woman's persona than does MRA, and the term MRA should be discontinued.
    Changes in womens' roles: Impact on and social policy implications for the mental health of women and children, 2000, Jennifer Aube, Josee Fleury and Judith Smetana, Development and Psychopathology, 12
    In recent years, womens' roles have changed dramatically, prompting researchers to examine the impact of these changes on the development of women and children. In this article, we examine three major changes that women have experienced over the past several decades: increased participation in the paid labor force, changes in domestic labor and child-care patterns, and increased numbers of female-headed single-parent families. For each, we first describe the nature of the changes that have occurred over the last 50 years. We then review research concerning the effects of these changes on the development of women and children. Finally, we discuss the implications for social policy that stem from this research. It is broadly concluded that research informed by a developmental-contextual perspective may contribute importantly to the development of social policies focused on promoting the well-being of women and children.
    Multiple caretaking of infants and young children: an area in critical need of feminist psychological anthropology, 2004, Susan Seymour, Ethos, Vol. 32, Issue 4, pp. 538-556
    Multiple caretaking of infants and young children, although nearly universal, remains controversial in the United States. Why? This article addresses that question by first reviewing some of the pertinent cross-cultural record on multiple child care and then by drawing on my own and others' research in India as a case study. The article critiques some of the Western developmental and psychoanalytic assumptions that underlie beliefs that exclusive mothering is essential to a child's wellbeing and argues that a feminist psychological anthropology is required to address these important issues about child care in American society and to help normalize multiple child care in both practice and theory.

    Domestic Violence and Health Care: Opening Pandora's Box - Challenges and Dilemmas, 2005, Lavis, Horrocks, Kelly, Barker, Feminism and Psychology, Vol 15 (4) 441-460
    In this article we take a critical stance toward the rational progressive narrative surrounding the integration of domestic violence within health care. While changes in recent UK policy and practice have resulted in several tangible benefits, it is argued that there may be hidden dilemmas and challenges. We suggest that the medical model of care and its discursive practices position women as individually accountable for domestic violence-related symptoms and injuries. This may not only be ineffective in terms of service provision but could also have the potential to reduce the political significance of domestic violence as an issue of concern for all women. Furthermore, it is argued that the use of specific metaphors enables practitioners to distance themselves from interactions that may prove to be less comfortable and provide less than certain outcomes. Our analysis explores the possibilities for change that might currently be available. This would appear to involve a consideration of alternative discourses and the reformulation of power relations and subject positions in health care.
    The importance of first-time parent groups for new parents, 2002, Barbara A. Hanna, Gay Edgecombe, Carol A. Jackson and Susan Newman, Nursing and Health Sciences, 4, pp. 209-214.
    First-time parent groups are offered to all new parents in Victoria, Australia through the Maternal and Child Health Service, which is funded by state and local governments. Parents who join a group attend a series of eight sessions that emphasize parenting skills, relationship development and social support in order to increase confidence and skills in parenting. The present paper highlights the importance of first-time parent groups, claiming that these groups serve an important social support and health function amid a climate of early discharge policies and changing family structures. Although there are a number of challenges to the successful running of groups, it is argued that first-time parents benefit from participating in these groups in a number of ways: by developing social networks, gaining self confidence, and through access to relevant information on child health and parenting. Research indicates that first-time parent groups provide lasting benefits not only for families, but also for society as a whole. Maternal and child health nurses play a key role in facilitating groups for first-time parents.

    --- Midwives Pdf Files ---


  • Anti- and Post-natal home visiting review of reviews-2004.
  • Beyond Empathy Annual Report 2009-10
  • DEECD - Early Childhood Intervention Reform Project - Literature Review
  • Pregnancy and Maternity" Supporting and Promoting Aboriginal Maternal Health
  • The origins of attachment theory John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth"
  • Working with an Aboriginal Community Liaison Worker

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    --- Equity ---
    The vast majority of individuals/couples aspire to achieve a form of gender equal or egalitarian family. There is, however, what looks like a trend towards traditional gender roles after the birth of an infant. My thesis argues that something very different is taking place. A large proportion of women are foregoing workplace attachments after the birth of a child, not to perpetuate traditional roles but in response to the current work-care regime that does not adequately account for care
    --- Abstracts ---
    The Changing Gender Contract as the Engine of Work-and-Family Policies, 2006, Journal of Comparative Policy Analysis, Vol. 8, No. 2, 115-128
    This paper shifts the comparative analysis of gender and welfare states from a focus on differences to a search for common features. The rise in women's labor force participation and resulting tensions between time allocated to work and to caregiving have led to a search for policies to reconcile productive and reproductive roles and a quest for gender equality in work and family life. Two questions result: first, why are structural changes in postindustrial society associated with efforts to increase the compatibility of domestic and market roles? And second, how and why are work and family restructuring and related social policies linked to a more egalitarian gender contract? Parsons' AGIL paradigm of evolutionary change suggests four functional exigencies that pull the various components of work-and-family policy in the direction of gender equality: (1) working-time policies promote adaptation to new demands; (2) equal employment opportunity and provision of child and elderly care promote role differentiation that enables heightened goal attainment both in work and caregiving; (3) broader eligibility for entitlements promotes integration of formerly excluded groups; and (4) value generalization of an adult worker /carer ideal and work-family reconciliation accomplish the legitimation of the new order in the cultural system as a whole. This analysis classifies social policies according to their function in facilitating the work-family nexus and thereby suggests the key elements that are required to reconcile work and family life in postindustrial society.
    Revisiting the Equality/Difference Debate: Redefining Citizenship for the New Millennium, 2001, Patrizia Longo, Citizenship Studies, Vol. 5, No. 3
    The argument for parity ignores the fact that 'politics' and 'citizenship' are not neutral terms, and thus to include women without redefining and challenge those terms might not produce any change to the masculine norms that support the system. In fact, politics can be reshaped to fit women rather than the other way around. The best antidote to a masculinist culture seems to be the stripping of political authority of its masculinist connotation s in the name of a woman friendly polity. Women's movements must therefore propose a new definition of citizenship-as evidenced by the mobilization of several groups of women at the margins of the traditional political universe. In other words, we need to present a new image of citizenship that both includes political, economic, and social aspects, which responds to the needs and demands of women, and which takes into account gender, class, and ethnic differences in a pluralistic framework. A better approach implies calling into question the reductive common definition of several concepts such as politics, universalism, equality, and difference. At a time of growing disenchantment with conventional politics in many countries, there is the need to overcome traditional modes of political organization both within and beyond the nation-state. Women, working within the spaces where public and private worlds collide, operating at the interstices of the public and the private, are providing new role models for active political citizenship.

    Locating difference: class, 'race' and gender, and the shaping of social inequalities, 2003, Wendy Bottero and Sarah Irwin, The Sociological Review, Vol. 51, No. 4, November, pp. 463-483
    The current interest in difference has arisen in part because of its importance in recent recognition claims, and in part because of a belief that as a concept it can illuminate social diversity. Debates here have stressed the importance of the symbolic in the construction of social relations and social diversity, and have highlighted the relational underpinnings of diversity. In this paper we seek to take forward aspects of such an analysis by examining some issues in the shaping of difference and inequalities in the domains of gender, class and 'race'. It is our argument that we can gain insights in these domains by better describing and theorising the mutuality of value and material social relations. The paper argues that issues of identity and difference need to be more firmly located within relational accounts of social practice, and in the nature of claims (to recognition and resources) which emerge out of different social locations. By exploring issues of difference in debates on class, gender and 'race', we argue that relational accounts must be placed within a perspective that also emphasises the content and patterned nature of (highly differentiated) social relations.

    ---Equity Pdf Files ---

  • Cartoons for a Cause Cartooning for equality in Australia
  • Gender, Equity, Fertility in Italy and the Netherlands
  • Gender, Equity, Fertility Revisited - evidence from Finland

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    --- Family ---

    Feminist research on the family has for decades brought attention to problems with a divide in policy and practice between the public, state and market, and the private, family. The state and the market rely on the family for care and attention has moved to formulating interactions between the family and the wider social networks.

    --- Abstracts ---
    Breadwinning: accounts of work and family life in the 1950s, 2002, J. Murphy, Labour and Industry, Vol 12, no 3
    The breadwinner model became pervasive in the post-war years in Australia. While this was built upon long-standing policy ideas of the 'family wage' and cultural ideas of gender identity, the pervasiveness of the breadwinner model also reflected its spread within the working class as a consequence of the prosperity of Full Employment. This article draws on in-depth narrative interviews with men and women about their ideas of work, family and gender identity during the 1950s. It focuses on the ways masculinity was bound up with the norms and expectations of being the breadwinner. The research suggests that while the experience of being a breadwinner was not markedly different across classes, the narratives and language through which men describe what being a breadwinner means do show class differences. Middle-class men tended to use a language of breadwinning as taken for granted, while working-class men were more likely to claim an ideological or normative commitment to being the breadwinner. Similarly, there are marked differences in the extent to which being a breadwinner also meant men were domineering within the family, though this had little to do with class. These differences are also less significant than the fact that the attitudes of both middle- and working- class men were firmly within the dominant gender culture of the period.

    Brothels as Families Reflections on the history of Bombay's Kothas, 2006, Ashwini Tambe, International Feminist Journal of Politics, 8:2 June, 219-242
    Feminist theory typically locates prostitution outside the ambit of familial institutions. In particular, sex radical feminists and some feminist historians cast prostitution as an alternative to heteronormative domesticity. This article stresses the continuities between families and brothels in their structures of affection, obligation and domination. Given that brothels have often been sites of residence in South Asia, the question I address is, to what extent have brothel relations mirrored conventional family roles? In doing so, I offer a caution against universalizing work as a category for framing and understanding commercial sex. I begin the article by explaining the need for greater specificity in transnational feminist conversations about prostitution, and pointing out absences in sex radical and feminist historical accounts. I then analyze brothel life in 1920s Bombay drawing on annual reports of social work organizations, testimonies from high court cases, police files, census figures and anecdotal accounts. I demonstrate how families facilitated the entry of women and girls into prostitution, and how kinship - both actual and fictive - legitimized participation in the sex trade. Within brothels, familial roles provided a ready-made hierarchy that secured the loyalty and obedience of subordinates. I close by showing how brothels functioned as alternate, rather than alternative, residences, especially for those sent there by their families.
    The cooptation of gender concepts in EU policies: the case of "Reconciliation of work and family", 2004, Maria Stratigaki, Social Politics, Vol. 11, No. 1, pp: 30-56
    The article contends that gender equality policy objectives become part of the main political agenda of the European Union only after their meaning has been transformed to satisfy other policy priorities. A content analysis of relevant official EU acts, from the First European Commission's Social Action Programme (1974) to the conclusions of the Barcelona European Council (2002) and the Fifth EU Action Programme for Gender Equality (2001-2005), shows how a concept introduced to encourage gender equality in the labor market, the "reconciliation of working and family life", gradually shifted in meaning from an objective with feminist potential ("sharing family responsibilities between women and men") to a market-oriented objective ("encouraging flexible forms of employment") as it became incorporated in the European Employment Strategy of the 1990s. I argue that this process can be characterized as cooptation because the goals of the original proposals are undermined by shifting the meanings of the original concepts to fit into the prevailing political and economic priorities in the EU.

    The European Union and Gender Equality: emergent varieties of gender regime, 2004, Sylvia Walby, Social Politics, Vol.11, No.1
    The implications of the development of the European Union for gender equality are analyzed through an assessment of the development of a path-dependent form of the gender regime in the EU. Two issues underpin this analysis, one concerning the theorization of gender relations, the second concerning the nature of EU powers. The analysis of gender inequality requires more than a simple scale of inequalities and additionally requires the theorization of the extent and nature of the interconnections between different dimensions of the gender regime. The powers of the EU are extending beyond the narrowly economic in complex ways.
    Emerging Gender Regimes and Policies for Gender Equality in a wider Europe, 2004, G. Pascall and J. Lewis, International Social Policy, 33, 3.
    This article addresses some implications for gender equality and gender policy at European and national levels of transformations in family, economy and polity, which challenge gender regimes across Europe. Women's labour market participation in the west and the collapse of communism in the east have undermined the systems and assumptions of western male breadwinner and dual worker models of central and eastern Europe. Political reworking of the work/welfare relationship into active welfare has individualised responsibility. Individualisation is a key trend west ? and in some respects east ? and challenges the structures that supported care in state and family. The links that joined men to women, cash to care, incomes to carers have all been fractured. The article will argue that care work and unpaid care workers are both casualties of these developments. Social, political and economic changes have not been matched by the development of new gender models at the national level. And while EU gender policy has been admired as the most innovative aspect of its social policy, gender equality is far from achieved: women's incomes across Europe are well below men's; policies for supporting unpaid care work have developed modestly compared with labour market activation policies. Enlargement brings new challenges as it draws together gender regimes with contrasting histories and trajectories. The article will map social policies for gender equality across the key elements of gender regimes - paid work, care work, income, time and voice - and discuss the nature of a model of gender equality that would bring gender equality across these. It analyses ideas about a dual earner-dual carer model, in the Dutch combination scenario and 'universal caregiver' models, at household and civil society levels. These offer a starting point for a model in which paid and unpaid work are equally valued and equally shared between men and women, but we argue that a citizenship model, in which paid and unpaid work obligations are underpinned by social rights, is more likely to achieve gender equality.
    "His" and "Her" Marriage expectations: determinants and consequences, 2005, Maureen R. Waller, Sara S. McLanahan, Journal of Marriage and Family, 67, February.
    This article uses couple-level data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study (N ¼ 2,263) to investigate factors associated with unmarried parents' expectations about marriage and the association between their expectations and subsequent union transitions. In most couples, both partners expect to marry, and their shared expectations are the strongest predictor of marriage and separation following their child's birth. Although men's expectations are somewhat more consequential for union transitions, marriage and relationship stability are more likely when at least one parent expects to marry. Factors such as children from previous relationships, distrust, conflict, and shared activities are also associated with union transitions. Findings about how expectations and other factors relate to marriage and separation may inform new marriage promotion initiatives.

    The shaping of strengths and challenges of Australian families: implications for policy and practice, 2007, J. Geggie, R. Weston, A. Hayes, Simone Silberberg, Oceania, Vol. 41, no. 3: online at
    This article traces some of the key historical events that have combined with Australia's geography, climate and patterns of immigration in shaping characteristics of Australian families-characteristics that are remarkable for their diversity on many fronts. These factors, along with changing patterns of family formation, stability and structure, evolving parenting roles, and the ever-increasing spatial concentration of families, have all contributed to diverse strengths, vulnerabilities and lifestyles of families. Policies directed towards helping families identify and draw on their own strengths and those of their community have gained momentum since the late 1990s. The article outlines some of these policies, along with a project on family strengths that has helped shape interventions.
    Experiences of Family Caregiving among Middle-Aged Australian women, 2002, C. Lee and J. Porteous, Feminism and Psychology, 2002; 12; 79
    Family caregiving is an unpaid activity that falls inequitably on women. As one component of the Women's Health Australia survey, this article uses quantitative and qualitative methods to examine the impact of family caregiving among middle-aged women. Of 13,888 women, 1775 responded to specific items about caregiving and 185 made open-ended comments about their experiences. Quantitative analyses showed that caregivers experienced more financial difficulties, poorer physical and psychological health, higher levels of stress and higher use of health care services. Content analysis of comments supported these findings, and in addition identified emerging themes including difficulties with travel, inadequacies in health and welfare systems, a sense of exploitation and fear for the future. These findings support the view that interventions to assist family caregivers must address systemic in addition to individual factors.
    Family model and mystical body: witnessing gender through political metaphore in the early modern nation-state, 2008, Allison Anna Tait, Women's Studies Quarterly 36: 1 and 2 (Spring/Summer)
    (first paragraph) The sixteenth century in France was a "constitutional moment"-a time when political theorists and jurists articulated a full and rich iteration of the value of constitutionalism and legal-parliamentary authority in relation to the monarch. It was also a moment to "witness" in many senses. It was a time to witness history-Henri II died in a jousting match, only to be followed by three degenerate sons who died in short succession; Catherine de Medici incited the hatred of rival factions; and thousands of Huguenots were massacred in Paris on St.Bartholomew's Day in 1572. It was also a time of witnessing in a religious sense, as the Wars of Religion tore France apart and the powerful Catholic Ligue targeted the French Calvinists; and it was an instance when witnessing gained new associations related to a striking growth in France's judicial infrastructure caused by the sale of new offices. By the end of the century, this tremendous political and social instability resulted in the development of a different perspective on political organization and absolutist theory came into circulation, bringing with it a significantly different sense of witnessing. During the first half of the seventeenth century these two political theories vied for the right to define the terms of engagement. For women, this battle between political perspectives was especially important. Each theory, constitutionalism and absolutism, represented a distinct vision of sovereignty-the former emphasized the need for strong judicial governance and the latter the need for a strong monarch-and affected whether women witnessed in a religious sense or in a legal one, as rights holders and members of the political community.

    Matrimony, American-style Losing sight of shifts in kinship and family, 2005, Melanie Heath, Feminist Theory, vol. 6 (3), pp. 355-365.
    (introductory paragraph)The recent maelstrom over gay marriage in the United States suggests the degree to which America remains exceptional on a global scale. While many nations, especially in Europe, have steadily pursued political democracy, social liberties and civil rights, the United States has been taking strides in the opposite direction. It was this frame of mind that galvanized 'values' voters in the 2004 presidential election to pass 11 state constitutional amendments banning gay marriage, eight containing language that could also ban civil unions and other legal protections for lesbians and gay men. Movement towards legal and social recognition of gay and lesbian relationships reflects more fundamental shifts in the social organization of intimacy and sociability in many nations around the world (Budgeon and Roseneil, 2004). These shifts challenge basic assumptions about 'the family' and its conceptual ability to enfold the diverse practices of intimacy, friendship, and care in the postmodern era (Beck and Beck- Gernsheim, 1995; Giddens, 1992; Roseneil and Budgeon, 2004; Stacey, 1990). Declining marriage rates and fertility levels and increased divorce are becoming more global. Still, the United States leads the way in its culture wars over marriage. Sporting its peculiar brand of 'family values', it has become a breeding ground of backlash movements that aspire to restore institutional privilege to heterosexual marriage and to prohibit legal recognition of all other varieties (Heath and Stacey, 2002).
    Housing and Family Well-being, 2002, Rachel G. Bratt, Housing Studies, Vol. 17, No. 1, 13-26
    Housing encompasses a bundle of characteristics that are integral to family well-being. This literature review demonstrates that, on a physical level, housing must be decent and safe, as well as present in a family's life. Housing is also critical because of the way in which it relates to its occupants, providing sufficient space so that the family is not overcrowded; being affordable; providing opportunities to create a positive sense of self and empowerment; and providing stability and security. The paper concludes with a brief proposal that would involve a significantly increased commitment to housing based on all recipients of housing subsidies entering into a reciprocal relationship with the government.
    Family Intervention Services Prog evaluation: A brief report on initial outcomes for families, 2003, W. Cann, H. Rogers and J. Matthews, Aust e-Journal for Advancement of Mental Health (AeJAMH), Vol. 2, no. 3,
    This is a brief report on a preliminary evaluation of the Metropolitan Family Intervention Service at the Victorian Parenting Centre, Melbourne, Australia. It presents an analysis of pre-post data collected from 589 mothers who commenced and completed Triple P programs between 1999 and early 2003. Forty five percent of children were found to be in the clinical range for child behaviour problems before intervention. Following the parenting program only twelve percent of children were reported by their parents to be in the clinical range. Significant improvements were also noted in measures of parental style, sense of competence, depression, anxiety, stress, and couple conflict.

    How Parenthood Experiences Influence Desire for more Children in Australia: a Qualitative Study, 2008, Lareen Newman, Journal of Population Research, Vol. 25, No. 1,
    The low-fertility debate in developed countries has focused on the limits to family size posed by the financial costs of raising children, and difficulties combining work and family. Little attention has been given to the physical and socio-psychological experiences of conception, pregnancy, birth and early parenthood, and their potential effect on parity progression. Women's rising education and workforce participation rates are often seen as key factors in fertility decline, offering attractive alternatives to motherhood, but research suggests that they also undermine levels of knowledge, confidence and interest in motherhood. Demographers have made almost no link between people having fewer children than they might otherwise have had and their previous childbearing and childrearing experiences. Interviews conducted in South Australia in 2003-04 with parents of both small and large families show that fertility and family size are influenced both negatively and positively by experiences of having had children. The paper argues that if low fertility rates are to be stabilized or raised in developed countries, then researchers and policymakers must consider the physical and socio-psychological costs of having children for parents, and provide support mechanisms so that experiences of parenthood contribute as little as possible to fertility gaps and delayed fertility.
    Time Strains and Psychological Well-Being Do Dual-Earner Mothers and Fathers Differ?, 2005, Kei M. Nomaguchi, Melissa A. Milkie and Susanne M. Bianchi, Journal of Family Issues,Vol. 26 No. 6, Sept, pp. 756-792
    Using data from the 1997 National Study of the Changing Workforce, these authors examine gender differences in feeling time strain for children, spouse, and oneself and in the association of these feelings with psychological well-being among dual-earner parents. Fathers are more likely than mothers to report feeling time deficits with their children and spouse; however, it is primarily because fathers spend more hours in paid work than mothers. Yet feelings of time deficits with children and spouse are associated with lower well-being only for mothers. In terms of time for oneself, mothers more than fathers feel strains, net of the time they spend on free-time activities. Mothers and fathers who feel a time shortage for themselves express lower well-being, although for some measures, the relationship is stronger for fathers.

    Comparative evidence of inequality in cultural preferences: gender, class and family status, 2006, Tally Katz-Gerro, Sociological Spectrum, 26: 63-83,
    In a recent work, Erik Olin Wright proposed using the word clender to designate the interaction term between class and gender, emphasizing that class and gender interact in generating effects that are supplemental to their independent effects. This article reports the application of Wright's suggestion to the empirical example of cultural consumption in estimating the interactive effect of class and gender on cultural consumption in five countries. The empirical application presented here also considered interactions between gender and family status. The findings revealed three interesting variants in the way clender works: (1) a disadvantaged consumption score for women of the lower classes in Italy and Sweden; (2) an advantage in cultural consumption for women of the upper classes in West Germany and the United States; (3) no cultural consumption differences between men and women of different classes in Israel. The interaction between gender and family status was also manifested in different ways in the different cases. This article adds to the literature that juxtaposes gender and class within the sociology of consumption and draws new connections between social and cultural boundaries based on an international comparison.
    Parents, Power and Public Participation: Sure Start, an Experiment in New Labour Governance, 2005, Ulla Gustafsson and Stephen Driver, Social Policy and Administration, Vol. 35, no. 5, pp. 528-543
    This paper examines parent participation in local Sure Start partnerships within the broader context of public involvement in policy-making processes. Public participation is set against a background where an emphasis on participatory democracy is seen as a solution to shortcomings identified with policy-making and implementation. However, the meaning of public participation is by no means straightforward and gives rise to problems at several levels. Many of these problems emanate from concerns with power and legitimation. While these concerns highlight important aspects of public participation in public and social administration, this paper, drawing on Foucault's concept of "pastoral power", examines whether public participation is better viewed as a predictable part of governance in modern Western democracies where subjects need to be recruited to exercise power over themselves.

    'Pressed for time' the differential impacts of a 'time squeeze', 2005, D. Southerton and M. Tomlinson, Sociological Review,
    The 'time squeeze' is a phrase often used to describe contemporary concerns about a shortage of time and an acceleration of the pace of daily life. This paper reviews analysis of the Health and Lifestyle Survey (HALS), 1985 and 1992, and draws upon in-depth semi-structured interviews conducted with twenty British suburban households, in order to shed light on 'senses' of time squeeze. 75% of HALS respondents felt at least 'somewhat' pressed for time, with variables of occupation, gender, age and consumption significantly increasing senses of being 'pressed for time'. This is not surprising given theories of the 'time squeeze'. However, identification of variables only offers insights into isolated causal effects and does little to explain how or why so many respondents reported feeling 'usually pressed for time'. Using interview data to help interpret the HALS findings, this paper identifies three mechanisms associated with the relationship between practices and time (volume, co-ordination and allocation), suggesting that 'harriedness' represents multiple experiences of time (substantive, temporal dis-organisation, and temporal density). In conclusion, it is argued that when investigating 'harriedness' it is necessary to recognise the different mechanisms that generate multiple experiences of time in order for analysis to move beyond one-dimensional interpretations of the 'time squeeze', and in order to account for the relationship between social practices and their conduct within temporalities (or the rhythms of daily life).

    --- Family Pdf Files ---


  • A re-estimation of mothers' forgone earnings using Negotiating the Life Course data
  • A snapshot of how families spend their time Australian Institute of Family Studies 2007
  • Assistance for families: an assessment of Australian family policies from an international perspective
  • Current approaches to marriage and relationship research in the United States and Australia 2005/font>
  • Evaluation Plan early intervention program NSW Dept. Community Services
  • Families in Australia 2008 extensive report Dept. Prime Minister and Cabinet
  • Family, change and community life exploring the links
  • Family life and Professional work: conflict and synergy(EU RESEARCH-FamWork)
  • HELP! 37,000 babies at risk each year
  • International Review of Leave Policies and related research 2010
  • Negotiating Futures young women's stories of the space and place of work and family
  • Relationships, Marriage and Parenthood Views of young people and their parents
  • Transitions between full-time and part-time employment across the life cycle
  • Work, life and family balance Australian social trends -= Australian Bureau of Statistics

  • Top

    --- Care ---

    This social structuring of care is mediated by race/ethnicity and sexuality through intersections with cultural practice. This is exemplified by 'other mothering' within social groups that can ameliorate the effect. Importantly, class privilege can mitigate the effect of structure through privatized services. Most often there is a 'dependency worker' and in the case of infants 'the charge', the primary care-giver, or dependency worker, is generally a woman. This dependency relationship is marked by care, concern and connection, tending to others in their state of vulnerability. The dependency worker is structured according to a form of 'derivative dependency' within the family where relations between the provider and the care-worker are inherently unequal. The autonomy of the dependency worker is not the same as the provider and this is exemplified by an inequality of 'exit options'; the bargaining position of the dependency worker is worse than the provider. These conditions have important economic consequence but also have the potential for psychological, political and social dependencies. Equality within the gendered family form is complementary rather than parallel, equal but different. However, the relations between the 'familial dependency worker' and the breadwinner are inherently unequal; there is a power imbalance. This inequality arises from both objective and subjective factors that make the 'exit options' for the dependency worker less viable than for the breadwinner.

    --- Abstracts ---
    The place of care The relevance of the feminist ethic of care for social policy, 2003, Selma Sevenhuijsen, Feminist Theory, vol. 4(2): 179-197.
    In this article the relevance of the feminist ethic of care for current Dutch social policies is elaborated. It starts from the observation that Dutch society is witnessing two intertwined processes: the relocation of politics and the relocation of care. Together these processes result in the need for new normative frameworks for social policy. Care has to become part of the practices of active citizenship, which should be based on notions of relationality and interdependence. Basic moral concepts of the ethic of care, like attentiveness, responsibility, competence, responsiveness, trust and asymmetrical reciprocity are introduced. In the final part, the ethic of care is applied to two topical issues: policies on combining paid labour and care and generationsensitive policies. Finally some norms are proposed to guide social policymaking.
    'More than just play dough'- a preliminary assessment of the contribution of child care to the Australian economy, 2004, Jay Martin, Australian Social Policy.
    (Introductory paragraphs) High quality child care contributes to society through promoting children's growth and development. It can be particularly helpful in assisting disadvantaged children to overcome some of the barriers they might face. It also helps parents to better respond to the needs of their children by offering periods of respite, as well as the opportunity to combine parenting with other responsibilities. In addition, child care makes a substantial contribution to the national economy. It does so not only by producing a service that others buy, but also by supporting parents, particularly those with young children, to participate in society in a range of ways. Forthe vast majority of parents currently using child care, participation involves work. In this way, the value of the sector is not only what it produces, but also what it supports others to produce.

    Instead, this paper starts with the assumption that the total value of the income able to be attributed to child care use is the sum of the income earned by child care users. While there are numerous qualifications to this assumption, it is still a rather simplistic foundation. However, a number of papers have chosen a similar starting point (for example, MCubed 2002; Anstie et al. 1988) as it, nonetheless, provides a place to begin.

    Does father care mean fathers share? A comparison of how mothers and fathers in intact families spend time with children, 2006, Lyn Craig, Gender and Society, Vol. 20, No. 2. April, pp. 259-281
    This article uses diary data from the most recent Australian Bureau of Statistics Time Use Survey (N > 4,000) to compare by gender total child care time calculated in the measurements of (1) main activity, (2) main or secondary activity, and (3) total time spent in the company of children. It also offers an innovative gender comparison of relative time spent in (1) the activities that constitute child care, (2) child care as double activity, and (3) time with children in sole charge. These measures give a fuller picture of total time commitment to children and how men and women spend that time than has been available in previous time use analyses. The results indicate that compared to fathering, mothering involves not only more overall time commitment but more multitasking, more physical labor, a more rigid timetable, more time alone with children, and more overall responsibility for managing care. These gender differences in the quantity and nature of care apply even when women work full-time.

    The parent-infant dyad and the construction of the subjective self, 2007, Peter Fonagy, Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 48:3/4, pp 288-328
    Developmental psychology and psychopathology has in the past been more concerned with the quality of self-representation than with the development of the subjective agency which underpins our experience of feeling, thought and action, a key function of mentalisation. This review begins by contrasting a Cartesian view of pre-wired introspective subjectivity with a constructionist model based on the assumption of an innate contingency detector which orients the infant towards aspects of the social world that react congruently and in a specifically cued informative manner that expresses and facilitates the assimilation of cultural knowledge. Research on the neural mechanisms associated with mentalisation and social influences on its development are reviewed. It is suggested that the infant focuses on the attachment figure as a source of reliable information about the world. The construction of the sense of a subjective self is then an aspect of acquiring knowledge about the world through the caregiver's pedagogical communicative displays which in this context focuses on the child's thoughts and feelings. We argue that a number of possible mechanisms, including complementary activation of attachment and mentalisation, the disruptive effect of maltreatment on parent-child communication, the biobehavioural overlap of cues for learning and cues for attachment, may have a role in ensuring that the quality of relationship with the caregiver influences the development of the child's experience of thoughts and feelings.
    Welfare State regimes and the social organization of labour: Childcare arrangements and the work/family balance dilemma, 2005, Margarita León, The Sociological Review.
    (Introductory paragraphs) Access to paid employment has increasingly become a central aspect of social integration and a main route to accessing welfare and social rights in the postindustrial world. Recently, the 'full employment strategy' has been placed at the forefront of social and employment policies in Europe at both country and EU level. The participation of women in paid employment is a crucial part of the strategy (female employment being the major source of employment growth in Europe over the last few years). This social and economic concern for increasing labour force participation has also been articulated politically in terms of discussions about gender equality and women's right to engage in paid labour. Issues of work and family balance have been a salient policy discourse regarding female employment and gender equality, including different forms of employment flexibility, the balance between paid employment and unpaid domestic work and the social organization of care.

    In this chapter, these current formulations of access to paid employment and their implications for work and family arrangements will be critically assessed. It starts from the basic premise that any shift in the policy logic that aims to give more salience to the employment issue should begin from a cautious consideration of the balance between paid and unpaid work, and the extent to which it is influenced by welfare divisions between the state, the market, the family and the informal sector. The recalibration between paid and unpaid work introduces important changes in the logic of welfare rights as well as in the way we think about the world of labour.

    Contract and Care, 2001, Martha Albertson Fineman, Chicago-Kent Law Review, Vol. 76, p. 1403
    (Introductory paragraphs) It is not surprising in a society which offers, as icon, a construct of the autonomous individual and which trusts, as an ordering mechanism, the abstraction of an efficiency-seeking market, that sooner or later there would be a radical attack on any existing notion that there is some collective responsibility for children and other dependent persons. We have a historic and highly romanticized affair with the ideal of the private and the individual, as contrasted with the public and the collective, as the appropriate units of focus in determining social good. After all, the very concept of the private defines the domain of the individual-an unregulated space where individual freedom reigns and in which each would-be-king can construct his castle. If a child is part of that private landscape, it is deemed a private matter, not the occasion for public subsidy or support. Children are like any other item of consumption, a matter of individual preference and individual responsibility.

    My argument in this Article is a mirror image of such debates about the newly perceived advantages of the private sector assuming tasks historically located within the public sphere. In the pages that follow I argue for the assertion of collective or public responsibility for dependency-a status or condition that historically has been deemed appropriately assigned to the private sphere.

    Clare Burton Memorial Lecture: 'Grateful Slaves' or 'Self-made Women': a Matter of Choice or Policy?, 2002, Belinda Probert, Australian Feminist Studies, Vol. 17, No. 37
    (Introductory paragraphs) Progress towards gender equality appears to have stalled in Australia, and in this article I wish to raise a series of questions that I think we need to confront if we are to break through the current impasse around women and employment. I propose to focus primarily on the kind of 'gender culture' we have helped to create over the last 20 or so years of feminist reforms, and the contradictions and ambivalence that are contained within it. By gender culture I mean the norms and values that underpin what come to be defined as the 'desirable' forms of gender relations in a particular society, and the accepted ideas about the division of labour between men and women. I want to argue that effective policy development has run aground on submerged ideas about motherhood and domesticity, and a failure to sustain the family as a serious object of social policy. 'We have attempted either to cater for everyone's image of the family under the policy buzzword, choice, or, alternatively and often simultaneously, to confine the family to the private sphere beyond the view of policy.'

    In this article I do not propose to focus directly on what we might call the gender system-that is, the structures of our labour market and our welfare state. Rather than elaborating on feminist critiques of the Howard government's approach to the labour market and welfare reform I want to talk about the reasons why this approach produces so little opposition. I want to focus on the gender culture in Australia today, not because I wish to privilege culture, let alone attitudes, in any causal analysis. Attitudes are shaped by historical structures and must, themselves, be explained. But it is also the case that culture and attitudes must be taken seriously if we are to understand this loss of momentum in the gender equality agenda, and the existence of visible and damaging conflicts between women over family life and the care of children.

    The Global Heart Transplant and Caring across National Boundaries, 2008, Eva Feder Kittay, The Southern Journal of Philosophy, Vol. XLVI
    When the girl I take care of calls her mother Mama, my heart jumps all the time because my children also call me "Mama." When I pack her lunch … that's what I used to do for my children … I think I should be taking care of them instead of another child.… If I had wings, I would fly home to my children,… Just for a moment, to see my children and take care of their needs, help them, then fly back over here to continue my work.

    In this paper, I consider some political and moral issues that arise from the increasingly common phenomenon of migrant careworkers who are part of transnational families, often mothers of children who are left behind, but also daughters who leave behind elderly relatives who may need care. This is a phenomenon that Arlie Hochschild calls the "global care chain." In the first part of this paper, I will consider that this phenomenon poses a challenge, if not an outright dilemma, first for those of us who want to envision a state that takes on a feminist ethics of care as a public ethic and, second, for feminist aspirations for the full range of work/career opportunities. Each of these hopes and expectations are meant to benefit all women but are, in fact, being realized only by some women and in some nations. The achievements often rest on the labor of other women who serve as paid caregivers for dependents, women whose home of origin is often another poorer nation. In the second half, I want to consider the moral resources that can help us diagnose the nature of the injustice and the moral harm such practices entail and determine what, if any, moral resources are available to help us resolve the dilemma(s) I flag in the first half of the paper.

    A Feminist Public Ethic of Care Meets the New Communitarian Family Policy, 2001, Eva Feder Kittay, Ethics, Vol. 111, No. 3 (April), pp. 523-547
    (Introductory paragraphs) Feminists have had an uneasy relationship to communitarianism. On the one hand, many feminists have shared some of the communitarians' critiques of liberalism. With communitarians, many feminists have criticized liberalism for its individualism, voluntarism, and reliance on rights. Both communitarians and feminists have stressed traditional social and familial arrangements, whether or not they are voluntarily entered into, that confer on us (or lock us into) duties and obligations. In different ways, both sets of critics pointed to the shortcomings of rights discourse in resolving familial disputes and promoting community. That is, it often fails in major settings in which people develop and thrive.

    The preference for an only slightly updated version of the traditional nuclear family is invoked for the sake of children: "Communitarians believe that the highest social value should be placed on parent-child relationships and the fostering of a child-centered society." 1I The preference for a single family form, one which has traditionally been oppressive to women, and even the call for society to be "child-centered," must give feminists pause. I shall argue that these resolutions land the new communitarians back in the position of the old communitarians. But the new communitarians have access to political decision making that the older communitarians could not dream of. Some leading figures of the new communitarians, such as William Galston, have been involved in policy-making positions in the Clinton administration. A Democratic presidential candidate has professed some degree of adherence to the new communitarianism, as have many New Democrats. Given the scope of their influence, an examination of the relation between the new communitarians and feminism, especially with respect to policies that most affect women and the family, is of more than academic interest. If feminism has long faced an assault from the Right, the new communitarians, with respect to their position on the family, pose a potential challenge from the Left. This article engages some of the considerations that have prompted their position. It reveals that their resolution to these problems include presuppositions that have pervaded political philosophy and have made so much political thought inhospitable to crucial feminist concerns. And finally it offers an alternative way to address these concerns, along with specific recommendations for public policy.

    The impact of caring on informal carers' employment, income and earnings: a longitudinal approach, 2007, Michael Bittman, Trish Hill and Cathy Thomson, Australian Journal of Social Issues, vol. 42, no. 2, winter
    In Australia the policy balance has shifted away from institutional forms of health and aged care towards supporting people in their own homes. This change presupposes a significant and growing supply of informal caring labour. A large proportion of informal carers (40 - 60 per cent) currently combine paid employment with their caring responsibilities. Using the longitudinal Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia Survey, the paper examines the effect of caring on employment, hours worked and earnings. The analysis shows that working age carers experience disadvantage. Carers are more likely than non-carers to reduce their hours of work or exit from the labour force, and earn lower levels of income. In planning for an ageing population, policies will need to address these negative effects and privatized costs of caring if the supply of informal care is to be sustained in the future.

    The Invisible Carers Framing Domestic Work(ers) in Gender Equality Policies in Spain, 2007, Elin Peterson, European Journal of Women's Studies; 14; 265
    This article explores how paid domestic work is framed in state policies and discourses, drawing upon theoretical discussions on gender, welfare and global care chains. Based on a case study of the political debate on the 'reconciliation of personal, family and work life' in Spain, the author argues that dominant policy frames relate gender inequality to women's unpaid domestic work and care, while domestic workers are essentially the invisible 'other'. Empowering and disempowering frames are discussed; domestic workers are mainly constructed as a solution to the care problem and only marginally as subjects and rights-holders. The overall aim is to examine how public policies legitimize and (re)produce social inequalities related to gender, class and nationality.
    The social division of care, 2007, Michael Fine, Australian Journal of Social Issues, vol. 42, no. 2, winter
    In Australia, as in most developed economies, care has now 'gone public'. It is no longer solely a private, familial concern that can be automatically assigned to women to be undertaken without pay. Nor is it contained in residential institutions or bureaucratic hierarchies. In this paper I consider what is emerging in its place - the 'care deficit' and the new social divisions of care, in which paid care is assuming an ever more important place as a result of significant developments in both social policy and in market-based provisions, especially the expansion of corporate care. Linking recent care theory with the need for a program of empirical research, the paper first considers the lack of consensus on the character and meaning of care, as seen from a number of different theoretical standpoints. Despite important differences in the perspectives on care, common features suggest that there are sound reasons to develop research concepts and tools that would help create the dialogue and sharing of ideas that a more mature field of research and practice requires. A starting point for this is the attempt to demark a clear definition of care. Building on this, I propose the development and use of a broad perspective, which I have termed the social division of care, to provide a joint framework for data collection and for monitoring the changing balances of responsibility for providing care.

    ---Care Pdf Files ---


  • Caring for young children What children need
  • Choosing their choice? The impact of Howard government policy on the labour market preferences of partnered women with preschoolers in Ausralia
  • Social Research Political theory and the ethics of care in memory of my mother
  • The wellbeing of Australians Carer Health and Wellbeing
  • The unpaid work of caring for young children Ideas for long term and short term change
  • --- Feminism---
    The feminist discourse is highly relevant to the experience of women-as-mothers and yet the maternal may well be the catalyst for the greatest divides, both between women and gender difference. Most women, I think, would be astonished by the breadth and depth of materials that have blossomed over recent decades from what used to be called Women's Studies to the current Gender perspective that is evident across the disciplines. These boundless dimensions are evident in the often multi-disciplinary approach that is taken to gender studies. In some ways 'being a mother' is the most simple of the social undertaking and yet there are calls for a school of 'maternal studies' and evidence of a 'mother's movement'. These articles below only touch on some of this wealth, may we be inspired to not simply understand the world but to change it for the better.


    --- Abstracts ---
    Expertise and forms of knowledge in the government of families, 2003, Elizabeth Murphy, Sociological Review.
    This paper examines the relationship between the state and the individual in relation to an aspect of mundane family life - the feeding of babies and young children. The nutritional status of children has long been a matter of national concern and infant feeding is an aspect of family life that has been subjected to substantial state intervention. It exemplifies the imposition upon women the 'biologico-moral responsibility' for the welfare of children (Foucault, 1991b). The state's attempts to influence mothers' feeding practices operate largely through education and persuasion. Through an elaborate state-sponsored apparatus, a strongly medicalised expert discourse is disseminated to mothers. This discourse warns mothers of the risks of certain feeding practices and the benefits of others. It constrains mothers through a series of 'quiet coercions' (Foucault, 1991c) which seek to render them self-regulating subjects. Using data from a longitudinal interview study, this paper explores how mothers who are made responsible in these medical discourses around child nutrition, engage with, resist and refuse expert advice. It examines, in particular, the rhetorical strategies which mothers use to defend themselves against the charges of maternal irresponsibility that arise when their practices do not conform to expert medical recommendations.
    Choosing Childlessness: Weber's Typology of Action and Motives of the Voluntarily Childless, 2005, Kristin Park, Sociological Inquiry, Vol. 75, No. 3, August, 372-402
    There has been little in-depth theoretical study in sociology of the motives of women and men who are childless by choice. This article begins to remedy this deficiency by analyzing the motives articulated by twenty-three childless women and men using Weber's typology of social action and distinction between primary and end motives. In-depth interview and focus group data reveal that, compared to men, women more often were affected by the parenting models of significant others, saw parenting as conflicting with career and leisured identities, and claimed the lack of a "maternal instinct" or disinterest in children as dominant influences. Men more explicitly than women rejected parenthood because of its perceived sacrifices, including financial expense. Both women and men were motivated by personality traits that they deemed incongruent with good parenting. Declared motives especially demonstrated instrumentally rational action in Weber's schema, although affectual and value-rational actions also were present. Respondent motives are compared to those that they, and empirical studies, have attributed to parents.

    Telling our Stories:feminist debates and use of oral history, 1994, J.Sangster, Women's History Review, Vol.3,No.1
    This paper examines some of the current methodological and theoretical debates encountered by feminist historians utilizing oral history, with illustrations from oral history research on wage-earning women in a small Canadian manufacturing city. After reviewing some of the literature which has indicated how we might use oral history as a means of exploring the construction of historical memory, the article examines some of the ethical questions involved in using oral sources, and emphasises the need for historians to take full account of issues of long-standing concern to other social scientists. It then examines some of the current theoretical debates surrounding historians use of interviews, particularly the difficult concept of experience and the current emphasis on deconstructing the oral text with the use of post-structuralist theories. Using women's stories of a major textile strike in 1937 as an illustration, the article argues for a feminist oral history which is enlightened by post-structuralist insights, but firmly grounded in a materialist-feminist context.
    Neutral Claims - Gendered Meanings: Parenthood and Developmental Psychology in a Modern Welfare State, 2005, Agnes Andenaes, Feminism and Psychology, Vol. 15(2): 209-226
    Psychology, particularly developmental psychology, plays an important role in a modern welfare state. In this article three 'cases' within the frame of the Norwegian welfare state are analysed to produce a picture of psychological constructions of care and parenthood. The three cases are: (1) practices within the child welfare system; (2) debates about the cash benefit scheme; and (3) debates about joint physical custody. The argument in the article is that the crucial contribution of feminist psychology is that it deconstructs the ongoing debates on parenthood and childcare, speaks the experience of the actors who are continuously involved in caring for children into existence, and destabilizes naturalized and taken-for-granted understandings of children.
    Feminism, Psychology and Identity Transformations in the Nordic Countries, 2005, Hanne Haavind and Eva Magnusson, Feminism and Psychology, Vol. 15(2): 236-247
    Contemporary relations between feminism and psychology in the Nordic countries have their origins in feminist critique similar to that in other western countries. There are also some distinctive features, however, especially seen in a historical perspective. In this commentary, we describe both commonalities and distinctive features and focus on how they have interacted with the ways that feminists working in and around psychology have produced knowledge. In doing this, we trace the developments historically from the 1950s, when psychology was first established as an academic discipline in the Nordic countries. As elsewhere, Nordic feminist scholarship in psychology has been built on a combination of political concern and scholarly critique that initially produced research focusing mainly on women and on links between social and personal changes for women. A focus on men developed later. We start at the time of the early sex-role debates among politicians and scholars. These early debates, beginning in earnest after World War II, lasted well into the 1970s and resulted in some characteristic research strategies. Next, we move to Nordic feminist conceptualizations of the psychology of care, and of gender as negotiated in interpersonal relations. Then, ways of researching generational transfer and transformation of gender patterns are in focus followed by studies of gendered identity negotiations in increasingly new identity landscapes.

    'Just like your mother?' The politics of feminism and maternity in the Pacific Islands, 2010, Nicole George, Australian Feminist Law Journal, Vol. 32
    (Introductory paragraph) Although research into Pacific Islands feminisms is sparse, commentary on this subject frequently underscores the important place that maternal imagery occupies in activities undertaken by Pacific women to improve their status. Yet questions remain about how feminism and maternity are articulated in the Pacific Islands and how these strategies are more broadly situated within the prevailing political environment. Often, references to maternity are viewed as a practice in legitimation, allowing Pacific women to culturally anchor and validate their political claims despite the fact that they may, in fact, challenge popular ideas about the role and place of women in Pacific societies. In this vein some have hailed these efforts to subtly navigate local cultural sensitivities in the Pacific as an example of women's political creativity. Others, however, question the extent to which references to the maternal are, in fact, empowering. To this end they have looked at issues related to maternal morbidity across the Pacific, or the physical cost of Pacific women's reproductive labour and argued that such concerns get swept aside when a motherist 'gloss' is applied to a particular advocacy agenda.
    Germaine Greer versus the New Feminism: Gender Politics in the United Kingdom and United States, 2001, Jennifer Somerville, Social Politics, Fall
    This article takes as its departure point the contemporary debate between feminists about the future of feminism and its status with a new generation of women given particular public prominence by Greer's best-selling book: The Whole Woman. While the interchanges have aroused much media interest, the focus of this article is the debates as they are articulated in feminist writing, academic, political, and journalistic, rather than as they are represented in secondary accounts by professional media observers. The current controversy is located in the response of self-identified feminists to the context of changing socioeconomic and political conditions of the last two decades of the twentieth century and identifies issues around sexuality and the family as critical in polarizing feminist opinion. The article traces the discursive patterns and shifts of orientation in the ways in which feminists relate to the family and examines why certain positions gain greater credence at particular times. Greer's feminist writing over thirty years, while idiosyncratic in many ways, is taken as a paradigm of a continuity of purism in feminist thought which resists the current pragmatic approaches of the "new feminists."
    Is there really a second shift, and if so, who does it? a time-diary investigation, 2007, L. Craig, Feminist Review, 86
    This paper draws on data from the most recent Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Time Use Survey (TUS) (over 4,000 randomly selected households) to tease out the dimensions of the 'second shift'. Predictions that as women entered the paid workforce men would contribute more to household labour have largely failed to eventuate. This underpins the view that women are working a second shift because they are shouldering a dual burden of paid and unpaid work. However, time use research seems to show that when both paid and unpaid work is counted, male and female workloads are in total very similar. This has led to suggestions that a literal second shift is a myth; that it exists in the sense that women do more domestic work than men, but not in the sense that they work longer hours in total. Using a more accurate and telling measure of workload than previous research (paid and unpaid labour including multitasked activities), this paper explores the second shift and how it relates to family configuration, ethnicity and indicators of class and socioeconomic standing. It finds a clear disparity between the total workloads of mothers and fathers, much of which consists of simultaneous (secondary) activity, and some demographic differences in female (but not male) total workloads. It concludes that the view that the second shift is a myth is only sustainable by averaging social groups very broadly and by excluding multitasking from the measurement of total work activity.

    Joining the Club? Academia and Working-class Femininities, 2003, V. Hey, Gender and Education, Vol.15, No.3
    The feminist working-class academic is an exemplary queer subject, someone whose presence (and practice) questions the norms of the academy without ever being able to completely occupy the 'other' term. She is an archetypal late modern subject of reflexivity and mobility. This article explores some consequences of this position by looking at class as lived as a re/location, reflecting on its pleasures and pains. The author looks principally at autobiographically inspired accounts of class, as well as other auto/biographical material, which have influenced these personal narratives. In doing so she alludes to more research-based texts to point to the cumulative importance of this particular class literature to problematise a sociology without a society.
    My other my self, Cleo Magazine and Feminism in 1970s Australia, 2007, Megan Le Masurier, Australian Feminist Studies, Vol. 22, No. 53, July
    (Introductory paragraph) Could you be a real feminist in 1970s Australia and enjoy reading Cleo? Could you find feminism there? Within the parameters of more radical feminisms, the answer was no. To be an oppositional movement and yet inside the mainstream was one of many contradictions that could not be resolved by second-wave feminists. How could a feminist be both outside and inside? For the majority of feminists in the 1970s it was impossible to acknowledge that a popular kind of feminism was being made in the pages of some of the new mainstream young women's magazines. The second wave of feminism was forged partly in the crucible of hostility towards mainstream women's magazines and their readers. Betty Friedan's foundational text, The Feminine Mystique (1963), created the template. Women's magazines were a primary force perpetuating the 'problem with no name', the home of the mystique that women could 'find fulfillment only in sexual passivity, male domination, and nurturing maternal love' (1963, 38).
    Bras, Breasts and Living in the seventies, Historiography in the Age of Fibs, 2007, Beth Spencer, Australian Feminist Studies, Vol. 22, No. 53, July
    (Introductory paragraphs) For some time I have been using fiction as a research technology for exploring issues to do with the historical production of gender, and the complex relationship between bodies and culture; most recently in a novel-in-progress called A Short (Personal) History of the Bra and its Contents and with a protagonist who had her formative adolescent years in Australia in the 1970s.

    In this article I would like to explore some of the methodological challenges of writing postmodern history (history in the 'era of the aporia'), the philosophy of history that underpins my use of fiction or what might be called 'Ficto-history' and some of the reasons for my stylistic choices, in particular the use of montage. Within this, I would like to take a look at what might be distinctive about 'Tail End Boomers' or 'Baby Busters' (the original 'Generation X') as the first group to enter adolescence after the publication of The Female Eunuch, and the first group to be babysat by television; and why the erasure of this distinctiveness, and the dominance of the Baby Boomer mythology, matters in our readings of the 1970s as an historical period. Indeed as an affective discourse our readings of history always (make) matter. But first, as a prologue: some 1970s snippets from the novel.

    The rise of 'women's poetry' in the 1970s An Initial Survey into New Australian Poetry, the Women's Movement, and a Matrix of Revolutions, 2007, Ann Vickery, Australian Feminist Studies, Vol. 22, No. 53, July
    In Paper Empires (2006), Diane Brown and Susan Hawthorne argue that until the late 1970s it was difficult to access Australian women's writing in any genre. Certainly, the 1970s was a watershed decade for women in the poetic field, leading to greater visibility and legitimation than ever before. Brown and Hawthorne contend that the most important poetry publishing event of the 1970s was the first women's poetry anthology, Kate Jennings' Mother I'm Rooted (1975a, 2006). Published in International Women's Year, it was unlike No More Masks! (Howe and Bass 1973), Rising Tides (Chester and Barba 1973), and The World Split Open (Bernikow 1973) women's poetry anthologies that had been published in other countries only a year or two earlier in that it did not map out a female tradition. Rather, it showcased poetry from one particular historic moment. Adrienne Rich has defined feminist poetry as challenging 'not just conventional puritanical mores, but the hip ''counterculture'' and the male poetry culture itself' (1993). While Jennings' anthology might be viewed as a conspicuous 'indeed inflammatory' feminist gesture, it is my contention that it, and the nascent recognition of 'women's poetry' as a literary and marketable category in Australia, was as enabled as it was constrained by the counterculture that saw a similar emergence of the term 'New Australian poetry', or what has alternatively been labelled the 'generation of '68'. In the following article, I begin to track the complex relationship between women's poetry and the radical small press scene of the late 1960s and early 1970s.

    Masking dependency:the political role of family rhetoric, 1995, M. Fineman, Virginia Law Review, vol.81
    In this article I want to explore the schizophrenic nature of the interaction between social ideals and empirical observations concerning dependency. I am particularly interested in the family as a social and political construct that facilitates this interaction. Specifically, I argue that continued adherence to an unrealistic and unrepresentative set of assumptions about the family affects the way we perceive and attempt to solve persistent problems of poverty and social welfare. In the normative conclusions that are generated and reiterated in political and popular discussions about family, we assess the "justice" of particular policies addressing societal problems with reference to concepts such as the individual and dependency.
    Review article: Bodies in translation: French feminist influences on Anglophone feminist theory, 2006, Elizabeth Stephens, Australian Feminist Studies, Vol. 21, No. 49
    In his recent study, French Theory: Foucault, Derrida, Deleuze et Cie et les mutations de la vie intellectuelle aux Etats-Unis (2003), Franc¸ois Cusset argues that 'French theory' is an Anglo-American invention, a disciplinary field that exists only outside France. This argument is worth bearing in mind when approaching 'French feminist theory', an anglophone designation that has become virtually synonymous with francophone theories of sexual difference. Given that Cusset's work symptomatically focuses almost exclusively on the work of male theorists, however, the role of English-speaking feminists in taking up and emphasising the contribution of French feminist thinking to contemporary critical theory as a whole remains centrally important to feminist practice in both cultural contexts, serving to counter the ongoing marginalisation of feminist theory and practice in France.
    Negotiating Spaces For/Through Third-Wave Feminism, 2004, Amber E. Kinser, NWSA Journal, Vol. 16, No.3
    This essay examines the challenge confronting young feminists of finding their place and creating their space in the political landscape. It argues that the conceptual leverage of a "third wave" helps young women articulate a feminism that responds to the political, economic, technological, and cultural circumstances that are unique to the current era. Rather than take the position that the existence or authenticity of third-wave feminism ought be argued, the author asks the more important questions of what are the unique contributions that third-wave rhetoric can make? What is it about the political climate that has given rise to third wave that enables these feminists to make different contributions than second-wave feminists might make? Continuing to articulate feminism as a force to be reckoned with has become increasingly complex in our pluralistic world. It is further complicated by a now sophisticated and prolific post-feminist ideology that has co-opted and depoliticized the central tenets of feminism. The only thing post-feminism has to do with authentic feminism, however, is to contradict it at every turn while disguising this agenda, to perpetuate the falsehood that the need for feminist change is outdated. The author also discusses the rhetorical challenges facing third-wave feminists. She argues that their virtues of pluralism and contradiction could become their vices if they retreat from making arguments about what constitutes feminism and that third-wave contributions can be made more profound if they refuse to see second wave monolithically. Finally, the author argues that third-wave feminists must meet these rhetorical challenges if they are to avoid the dangerous possibilities of false feminism: personal journey and resistance that are devoid of politics, and weak feminism: working for only as much social change as a patriarchal social order can outrun.


    --- Feminism Pdf Files ---
  • A class perspective on gender inequality how welfare states shape the welfare gap
  • Foundational Myths and the reality of dependency the role of marriage
  • The Girl Effect it's no big deal just the future of humanity
  • The networked family reframing the legal understanding of caregiving and caregivers
  • The sexual family Martha Fineman Theorist
  • Why Lesbians and gay men should read Martha Fineman
  • --- My Pdf (Articles) Files - Joan Garvan ---

  • Birthing a mother
  • Family as Institution
  • Gender Equity and the Politics of Care
  • Humanities Report Cards on Maternal Health
  • Journey Centre Earth - Bourdlieu

  • Mandurama Mothers - Mothers before us
  • Maternity Ambivalence Revisioning Care paper
  • Rethinking Care
  • Rethinking Mothers - Joan Garvan.
  • Review - A Better Woman
  • REVIEW - Fearless Girls
  • Review - infinity

  • Top
    --- Mothering - Motherhood ---

    There are vast materials on the experience of 'being a mother' though this breadth of material isn't evident on the shelves of just about any bookshop I have visited. I've been told that biographical perspectives are being churned out by the thousand in the U.S. today. Adrienne Rich's book Of Woman Born is a classic but there is also The Myths of Motherhood by Shari Thurer that sets out a historical perspective on mothering from the cave mother to post-Freud parenting. These articles touch on issues of debate from within this ever increasing genre.

    --- Abstracts ---
    Mother courage: reflections on maternal resilience, 2007, Lisa Baraitser and Amelie Noack, British Journal of Psychotherapy, 23 (2)
    This paper attempts to develop a psychoanalytic perspective on maternal resilience. It argues that notions of resilience have been largely focused on the development of resilience in children, with the mother being viewed as a key figure in understanding its success or failure. However, the development of maternal resilience - the capacity for mothers to survive the vicissitudes of the parenting experience itself - has received less attention, occluding an important aspect of maternal subjectivity. Drawing on recent work on maternal ambivalence, this paper explores the relation between ambivalence and resilience, and provides clinical material from a two-year slow-open analytic group for mothers at the Maya Centre to illustrate our view that maternal resilience may usefully describe the aspect of ambivalence that entails bearing and accepting ourselves as mothers as well as our ambivalent feelings about our children.
    Breastfeeding policies and the production of motherhood: a historical-cultural approach, 2003, Dagmar Estermann Meyer and Dora Lucia de Oliveira, Nursing Inquiry, 10 (1), pp. 11-18
    This paper revisits some of the aspects that allow us to situate historically the process that has been called the 'politicization of women's breasts'. It is part of a broader research project being undertaken in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, which is studying information from the educational material used in the National Campaign for the Incentive of Breastfeeding. The methodological approach used is cultural analysis, and its theoretical basis is informed by feminist studies and cultural studies, from a poststructuralist perspective. Knowledges and practices that produce notions of maternity are problematized to argue that current political and economic arrangements have necessitated a redefinition of motherhood. This re-signification of motherhood has transferred to women the duty of solving an array of problems that were previously considered government's responsibility, in particular those related to the physical and emotional development of infants.
    Comparative research on women's employment, 2002, Tanja van der Lippe and Liset van Dijk, Annual Reviews Sociology, 28.
    Women's employment has been widely studied in both western countries and eastern Europe. In this article, the most frequently used measurements and descriptions of women's paid work are given, namely, participation rate, number of hours worked, gender segregation, and the gender gap in earnings. Next, three approaches used to study women's employment are discussed: 1. the macro-level approach which gives a thorough understanding of the influence of the institutional context on women's work; 2. the micro-level approach, which compares individual-level results in a number of countries; and 3. the macro-micro approach, in which the relative importance is shown of institutional and individual level factors. Finally, a review is given of the hypotheses and outcomes of both the institutional level, with welfare regime and family policy playing an important role, and the individual level, which shows that being a mother has an important effect on women's employment in the different countries studied.

    Conflict in the transitions to becoming a mother: a psych-social approach, 2009, Wendy Hollway, pdf available online with a google search on the title.
    I like being a Mum, I love it. I've noticed my whole persona slowly started to change. I feel a bit topsy turvy. (Justine)

    In this article I illustrate the central role of dynamic conflict in the identity changes involved in becoming a mother for the first time. I look in depth at two salient themes in 'Justine's' case: the conflict between mothering and work and those surrounding separation with her daughter. My analysis of this single case is psycho-social; that is reducing to neither social nor psychological explanations and attempting to articulate the connections among these. It is informed by a psychoanalytic account of conflict-based unconscious intersubjectivity as a foundation for self formation and demonstrates how these dynamics work across generations to shape a woman's identity as she becomes a mother. I briefly contrast the mother's experience with the father's. Methodologically, I pay detailed attention to the workings of transference dynamics in the interpretation of empirical interview-based data.

    Teaching motherhood in history, 2002, Jodi Vanderberg-Daves, Women's Studies Quarterly, Fall, 30,
    When I tell people that I regularly teach a course on the history of motherhood, there is almost always a flicker of genuine interest and surprise, not only from academics but from neighbors, friends, acquaintances, and relatives, especially the mothers. Do mothers have a history? This seems to be the usually politely unspoken question. It stems from a larger one that has plagued women's history since the second-wave feminists put the field on the map in the 1970s: Do women have a history? Recently, one of the students in my general survey course on modern U.S. women's history told me of her experiences as a student teacher in one of the local schools: A young male colleague of hers, when told about this class, commented, "Must be a short course!". As this essay will show, the founding mothers of the modern field of U.S. women's history clearly identified the larger possibilities of their enterprise: the prospect of uncovering women's "private" experience in the past, as well as women's untold contributions to the record of "public" human achievements, from invention to diplomacy. But an examination of the challenges of understanding and teaching the history of motherhood provides a particularly useful angle on the extent to which the promise of uncovering private experience has yet to be realized.
    A wake for mother: the maternal deathbed in women's fiction - towards a feminist theory of motherhood, 1978, Judith Kegan Gardiner, Feminist Studies, vol. 4, no. 2
    "Matrophobia" … is the fear not of one's mother or of motherhood but of becoming one's mother. Thousands of daughters see their mothers as having taught a compromise and self-hatred they are struggling to win free of, the one through whom the restrictions and degradations of a female existence were perforce transmitted.

    Mother-Infant Dyad: the cradle of meaning, 1972, Michael Lewis, Paper presented at a symposium on language and thought, University of Toronto
    The early communication network existing between a mother and her 12 week old infant was explored. Over 50 infants of both sexes from a variety of social classes were seen in their homes, and a wide variety of maternal and infant behaviors were studied. Of special interest was the vocalization in communication data. The results indicate a lawful, consistent, and predictable pattern of communication and suggest that meaning is being established at the very beginning of life.
    Doing the dirty work of social class? Mothers' work in support of their children's schooling, 2005, D. Reay, Sociological Review.
    A major achievement of feminist research has been the broadening of the concept of work to include 'the invisible labour' of the home and neighbourhood (Glucksmann, 1995; Ungerson, 1997). A growing, but still relatively neglected, aspect of domestic labour is the educative work increasingly expected of parents. Over the past twenty years there has been an increased emphasis on the accountability of parents for their children's learning, but more recently expectations that parents become 'home educators' have grown exponentially. Since the early 1990s, parental involvement has been officially recognized as a key factor in school improvement and effectiveness (Reynolds and Cuttance, 1992), and in 1994 became a requisite part of a school's development plan (OFSTED, 1994). OFSTED guidelines issued the following year (1995: 98) encouraged inspectors to explore how well schools help parents to understand the curriculum, the teaching it provides, and how this can lead to parents and teachers working together to provide educational support at home.
    Mothers in the making? Exploring liminality in cyber/space, 2005, Clare Madge and Henrietta O'Connor, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers, 30, pp. 83-97
    This paper makes a case for cyberspace and geographical space coexisting simultaneously as an interconnected dyadic cyber/space combining the virtually real and the actually real. Based on empirical evidence from a study examining the role of the Internet in the life of new mothers, we investigate the simultaneity of online/onsite experiences through an exploration of cyberspace as a performative liminal space, one where the women 'tried out' different versions of motherhood. We suggest that liminality, as a concept that can denote both a space and time of 'betweenness', is a useful tool in the virtual geographers 'conceptual handbag' as it enables a more lively understanding of cyberspace. But although cyberspace can result in the production of new selves, these selves have residual attachments to embodied experiences and practices. This suggests that new theorizing about cyber/space must combine a consideration of liminality with everyday corporeality.

    "The sacred impulse of maternal devotion" Austen's critique of domesticity and motherhood in Lady Susan, Genevieve Brassard, Women's Studies, 34, pp. 27-48
    The love of Mothers for their Progeny has been always a subject of commendation; and, indeed, it is a Passion so interwoven in their natures, that it is next to an impossibility to resist its [sic] impulse. J. Burton, Lectures on Female Education and Manners.
    Lone motherhood and socio-economic disadvantage: insights from quantitative and qualitative evidence, 2005, Karen Rowlingson and Stephen McKay, The Sociological Review
    Children's socio-economic origins have a major impact on their socio-economic destinations. But what effect do they have on other kinds of destinations, such as family life? In this article we assess the extent and nature of the relationship between social class background and lone motherhood, using a combination of research methods. We analyse three large datasets and explore in detail qualitative information from 44 in-depth interviews. Our analysis shows that women from working class backgrounds are more likely to become lone mothers (especially never-married lone mothers) than women from middle class backgrounds. Moreover, the experience of lone motherhood is very different for women from working class backgrounds compared with other women.
    Meanings of lone motherhood within a broader family context, 2004, Vanessa May, The Sociological Review
    In this paper, the theoretical approach to the concept of lone motherhood is adopted from 'new' family sociology where families are understood to be dynamic processes constituted by webs of relationships. I analyse life stories written by lone mothers in order to examine the meanings that they give to their lone motherhood in relation to their larger family context. This approach reveals that, along with the concept 'family', the category 'lone motherhood' can be questioned. The life stories show that as with all families, the representations of 'the lone mother family' vary. Lone motherhood emerges less as a distinct family form and more as an experience coloured by the lone mother's position in a web of family relationships, as well as her place in her broader personal, social and historical context.
    Refracted selves? A study of changes in self-identity in the transition to motherhood, 1999, Lucy Bailey, Sociology, Vol. 33, No. 2 May, pp. 335-352
    Drawing on data from a study of middle-class women undergoing the transition to motherhood, this paper critically examines the early 1990s' work of Giddens and Beck on self-identity. Parallels with the work of Giddens and Beck are drawn, but it is argued that more attention needs to be paid to gendered and embodied identity. Using discourse analysis, it is suggested that the women are 'excused' from aspects of their identity in the process of pregnancy, but remain within the same regime of subjectification. Six dimensions of an altered sense of self are identified, and the discourses on which the women draw in maintaining a coherent sense of self are discussed. The concept of a refracted self is proposed as a means of theorising these changes.
    "Is this what motherhood is all about?" Weaving experiences and discourse through transition to first-time motherhood, 2007, Tina Miller, Gender and Society, Vol. 21, no. 3, June, pp. 337-358
    This article focuses on transition to first-time motherhood and explores the experiences of a group of women as they anticipate, give birth, and engage in early mothering. It illuminates how these women draw on, weave together, and challenge dominant strands of discourse that circumscribe their journeys into motherhood. Using qualitative longitudinal data, prenatal and postnatal episodes of transition are explored. The analysis and juxtaposing of these data reveal the different ways women anticipate and gradually make sense of becoming mothers. While there is a disjuncture between expectations and experiences for these new mothers, this article draws attention to the different ways women discursively position themselves through transition. It reveals how birth experiences can act as a discursive turning point and underscores the obduracy of some strands of dominant discourse. These findings contribute to a subtler and more nuanced understanding of the dynamic interplay between personal experience and gendered discourses.
    In the name of absent fathers and other men: Representation of motherhood in the Polish post communist cinema, 2006, Ewa Mazierska, Feminist Media Studies, Vol. 6, No. 1
    It is impossible to speak of discrimination against women. Nature gave them a different role to that of men. The ideal must still be the woman-mother, for whom pregnancy is a blessing. (Marcin Libicki, the Polish representative on the Council of Europe) (Watson 1996, p. 218)
    The 'individualized' (woman) in the academy: Ulrich Beck, gender and power, 2005, Christine Skelton, Gender and Education, Vol. 17, No. 3, August, pp. 319-332
    This article considers the tensions and struggles that exist between men and women and between women and women in the academic workplace. The research reported here is a small-scale case study of 22 academic women from two generations who were interviewed about their career experiences. The theoretical framework is materialist feminism and draws on Ulrich Beck's model of the 'individualized individual' to evaluate its usefulness to researchers for understanding the attitudes and actions of social actors in contemporary society. The article, firstly, examines the ways in which power differentials emerged for the younger female academics through a combination of their age and gender. It then discusses intra-gender tensions between women in the academy. It is argued that for Beck's model of an 'individualized individual' to be useful in understanding the position of women in the second modernity then a much more complex and nuanced interpretation of power and power struggles is needed than the one he provides. A further key point raised by the article is that feminists need to be more prepared to recognize and engage with power struggles and tensions that exist between women (and feminists) in the academy.
    Mother-Writing and the Narrative of Maternal Subjectivity, 2003, Suzanne Juhasz, Studies in Gender and Sexuality, 4(4):395-425
    This essay discusses how writing from a maternal perspective can construct maternal subjectivity in a linguistic form. Maternal subjectivity is understood as the aggregate of subject positions, or "representations," experienced by a woman who is a mother. Writing can form connections between subject positions, including those which have been split off or denied because of culturally induced ambivalence, to establish a subjectivity that is multiple rather than split. Through a reading of Mary Gordon's novel, Men and Angels, I show how the text's narrative structure, as it represents a mother's discourse with her own mother, her discourse with herself, and her discourse with her child, incarnates the plurality of self positions that mothers possess and constructs a relationship or "grammar" between them. By evoking this complex maternal subjectivity, mother-writing can be understood as a gesture toward recognition-both within the text, for its characters, and outside the text, for the mother/writer.
    Motherhood and "Moral Career": Discourses of Good Motherhood Among Southeast Asian Immigrant Women in Australia, 2006, Pranee Liamputtong, Qualitative Sociology, Vol. 29, No. 1, Spring
    In this paper, I examine the lived experience of motherhood among Cambodian, Lao and Vietnamese immigrant women in Australia. The women in this study felt a profound change through the process of becoming a mother; they experience the "transformation of self." The results reveal several discourses of good motherhood. Becoming a mother was experienced as a moral transformation of self and women were urged to perform their moral career. The representation of mothers as the "keepers of morality" is prominent. Women's moral career is influenced by an ethic of care and responsibility for others, particularly their children. The paradoxical discourse of motherhood is profound in the women's narratives of their lived experiences of motherhood. It is clear that motherhood is not an easy task. When this is combined with difficulties resulting from migration, motherhood becomes double burdens. Lack of sufficient English, financial difficulties and support network in a homeland make the task of good motherhood difficult to achieve. Social and health care services need to take women's experiences into account if sensitive care for immigrant women is to be achieved.
    Oi Mother, Keep Ye' Hair On! Impossible Transformations of Maternal Subjectivity, 2006, Lisa Baraitser, Studies in Gender and Sexuality, 7 (3), pp. 217-238
    Motherhood is commonly referred to as a transformational experience. Where the psychoanalytic literature articulates the maternal subject and her development, transformation is figured as a working through of infantile issues prompted by the psychic crisis that motherhood represents. Juxtaposing recent autobiographical accounts of the transition to motherhood with the work of Irigaray, and using my own experiences of early motherhood, I look at the way motherhood as a transformational experience is represented as either the movement from unity towards fluidity, or its reverse, the movement from fluidity to the hardening of desire around the unity of the child. I use a discussion of wigs to show how transformation itself is caught by its own material effects, inevitably failing to pass itself off as the magical movement from one state to another. The transition to motherhood is understood as both the painful and playful realisation of the impossibility of transformation itself.
    Reconceiving citizenship The challenge of mothers as political activists, 2000, K. Reiger, Feminist Theory, vol. 1(3)
    The resurgence of interest in the meaning of citizenship has encouraged debate on its gendered character, especially the relationship between public and private. Informed by such analyses, this article considers the political organizations, in this case in Australia, formed to reclaim maternity care from medical dominance and to promote women's choices as childbearers. As activists, mothers have carved out a new form of politics, transforming their 'private' experiences into issues of public contention. Challenging established categories, they have sought to improve their social rights through educating the public and changing professional and institutional practices - for example, asserting their 'right' to birth at home and breastfeed in public places. I argue that neither this project, nor that of feminism's emphasis on achieving equality in the public sphere, has been adequate, for gender equity requires intermeshed social, economic and political rights. By conceptualizing mothers as a political collectivity with distinctive, though not homogeneous, interests and needs, the article indicates ways to extend current theoretical frameworks, including postmodernist feminist debates on gender-justice and the politics of differentiated citizenship.
    Mothering, class and rationality, 2005, Simon Duncan The Sociological Review.
    Class theorists ask for research on the 'paradox of class' - the fact that while class appears to be materially just as important as ever, it hardly features as part of a self-conscious social identity. At the same time mothering is usually seen as a classless activity. This paper describes class based differences in how mothers combine employment and caring for their children, how they divide labour with their partners, and how they choose childcare. These are not simple structural divisions between working class and middle class, but instead refer to more nuanced social identities. These class based differences in mothering present different mixes of choice and constraint, or of 'rationality' and 'preference' in choosing alternative courses of action. However, theories focusing on classless individualised preference (Hakim) and class-based rationality (Goldthorpe) do not go far beyond a tautological description of these alternatives. Rather, the paper shows how preference and rationality are socially and culturally created through the development of career as an identity, through biographical experience, through relations with partners, and through the development of normative views in social networks.

    Mothering, human capital, and the 'ideal immigrant', 2004, Arlene Tigar McLarena, Isabel Dyckb, Women's Studies International Forum, 27, 41-53
    In this paper, we explore how women negotiate femininity and family in relation to their children's schooling within a context of powerful discourses-in particular human capital theory-that produce the subject position of the ''ideal immigrant.'' Our study is based on mothers and daughters who had recently arrived in Canada from a variety of source countries including Taiwan, Hong Kong, Korea, and Iran and who were settled in an outer suburb of Vancouver, British Columbia. Using in-depth interviews, we illustrate how the women in their struggles over gender, generation, class, and race inequalities negotiated and challenged human capital discourse at the three sites of paid jobs, children's schooling, and hopes and dreams about daughters' futures. While the women made claims through discursive prisms of human capital to articulate their longings, their experiences also point to the discursive incoherence of human capital and illuminate its ideological disguise of power relations.
    Motherhood, paid work and partnering: values and theories, S. Duncan, R. Edwards, Work, employment and society, Vol. 17 (2)
    The male breadwinner model, which dominated both policy assumptions and social ideals in the post-war welfare state, is increasingly being supplanted by an adult worker family model. In this new model, both men and women are assumed to be primarily workers in the labour market, who as fathers and mothers pool their earned income in supporting children. In this article we assess this assumption. First, we examine the gendered moral rationalities of particular social groups of partnered mothers, defined in terms of class, conventionality, ethnicity and sexuality, about how mothering is combined with paid work, and how time and labour is allocated with their partners. Second, in the light of this empirical research, we examine three leading approaches to understanding change and decision making in families - new household economics, individualization in late modernity, and 'post-modern moral negotiation'. We conclude that both the empirical and theoretical assumptions of the adult worker model are severely limited.
    It's a woman cry for help': A relational perspective on postnatal depression, 1998, Natasha S. Mauthner, Feminism and Psychology, Vol. 8 (3), pp. 325-355.
    The two most influential bodies of work on postnatal depression are studies informed by the medical model and feminist analyses. This article begins by reviewing medical and feminist theories, highlighting their contributions to our understandings of postnatal depression as well as their limitations. In particular, clinical studies have focused on the individual mother and her circumstances, while feminist theories have emphasized the sociopolitical context at the expense of the individual. This article argues that a relational approach, which takes 'relationship' as a unit of analysis, and explores women's feelings in terms of their relationships to themselves, their interpersonal relationships, and their varying relationships to cultural and structural opportunities and constraints, provides a fruitful way of understanding postnatal depression. The article discusses a qualitative study of 18 women's experiences which aimed to develop such an understanding of postnatal depression. Drawing on feminist and relational methodology and theory, the study sought to explore and prioritize women's own understandings and accounts of their experiences; elucidate the processes through which the women became depressed; and understand postnatal depression in terms of the similarities and differences between the women and their lives.

    Parenting gone wired: empowerment of new mothers on the internet?, 2006, Clare Madge1 and Henrietta O'Connor, Social and Cultural Geography, Vol. 7, No. 2, April.
    The extension of information and communication technologies is purported to provide great opportunities for women, with the potential for empowerment and feminist activism. This paper contributes to the debate about women and cyberspace through a focus on the role of the internet in the lives of a group of technologically proficient, socially advantaged white heterosexual new mothers. The internet played a central role in providing virtual social support and alternative information sources which increased these women's real sense of empowerment in the transition to motherhood. Simultaneously, however, very traditional stereotypes of mothering and gender roles persisted. A paradox is evident whereby the internet was both liberating and constraining: it played an important social role for some women while at the same time it encouraged restrictive and unequal gender stereotypes in this particular community of practice. An examination of new virtual parenting spaces therefore has a contribution to make in understanding changing parenting practices in the new millennium.
    Infant care in England: mothers' aspirations, experiences, satisfaction and caregiver relationships, 2006, Jacqueline Barnesa, Penelope Leacha, Kathy Sylvac, Early Child Development and Care, 1-21.
    This paper investigates non-maternal infant care in the first year of life, examining the relationships between child care ideals, attitudinal, sociodemographic and psychological characteristics of mothers at three months postpartum and their child care experiences at 10 months. Predictors of child care use, satisfaction with non-maternal care and confidence in the relationship and communication with caregivers are examined. Realising ideals predicted more hours of child care use, although not greater satisfaction. Those with the father or a grandparent as the caregiver were more satisfied, as were mothers with more progressive attitudes to child rearing and to maternal employment. Higher socioeconomic status mothers and those using nurseries were less satisfied. Relationships with caregivers were poorer for those who believed that maternal employment may have more negative consequences for children.
    'To theorize in a more passionate way' Carol Lee Bacchi's diary of mothering and contemporary post/academic writing strategies, 2009, Mona Livholt, Feminist Theory, vol. 10(1): 121-131.
    In this paper I invite the reader to engage with the subject of feminist theorizing of mothering by exploring different forms of writing and their possible implications and consequences for change. For this purpose I have asked Carol Lee Bacchi, previously Professor of Politics at the University of Adelaide, to reflect on the process of writing the book Fear of Food: A Diary of Mothering (Bacchi, 2003).1 In the introduction to her book Bacchi 'confesses' to the reader that she is an academic who has also written about feminist theory. At the same time she emphasizes that Fear of Food is not an academic book, but a personal account of a mother who happens to work at a university. When I interviewed her a year later she offered a different account in which she said that Fear of Food is an academic book and also a contribution to feminist theory. In a review in Feminism and Psychology, Burns (2005: 357) describes the book as 'a perceptive and engaging personal account of mothering', which is of interest to the broader debate about biographical accounts, since Bacchi 'has remembered an event, or order of events, wrongly'. These different statements illustrate various ways of categorizing text. In Bacchi's case this means that she is considered to be an academic author because of her previous publications, but by writing something differently she partly slips out of that category without necessarily fitting into another.

    Timing Motherhood: Experiencing and Narrating the Choice to Become a Mother, 2005, Eija Sevon, Feminism and Psychology, Vol. 15(4): 461-482
    The decision to become a mother is a multilayered process that is not wholly rational, clear-cut, or conscious. The aim of this study is to present four different stories about the choice of becoming a mother collected from pregnant women living in heterosexual relationships. The women's stories are explored through the desires and ambivalences of embodied, relational and emotional female subjects. Crucial to the choice of becoming a mother are: first, the timing of motherhood, which is attached to social and cultural narratives concerning 'good' mothering and a 'reasonable' female life course; second, the ambivalences encountered in choosing to become a mother; and, third, the link between the heterosexual relationship and its quality and the choice of becoming a mother.
    To be or not to be a mother? Women negotiating cultural representations of mothering, 2007, JaneMaree Maher and Lise Saugeres, The Australian Sociological Association, Volume 43(1): 5-21
    This article is based on a recently completed study of fertility decision-making in Victoria, Australia. Drawing on semi-structured interviews with 100 women, it explores how dominant discourses of mothering influence women in their life decisions about children. While much research indicates that all women negotiate dominant ideals of good mothering, our findings suggest that such stereotypes need to be further broken down, since women with and without children respond to different aspects of such ideals. For women who have children, images of the 'good mother' are less prevalent than pragmatic concerns about how to manage mothering. Women without children, in contrast, understand mothering as all-encompassing and potentially overwhelming. These findings suggest that Australian women share ideals and assumptions about mothering with their counterparts in the United Kingdom and the United States, but they also point to an increasing gap between how mothering is viewed and how it is practised.
    Narrative identity and the re-conceptualization of lone motherhood, 2004, Vanessa May, Narrative Inquiry, 14 (1)
    Lone motherhood tends to be viewed as something a woman is, an identity that defines the woman. This article takes a different route into lone motherhood by focusing on identity construction in the life stories of four Finnish lone mothers. Faced with dominant narratives that define lone motherhood in negative terms, the narrators construct a counter-normative account of their lone motherhood through a dialogue with different cultural narratives on motherhood, independence and family. Furthermore, the social category of lone motherhood is not one that the lone mothers themselves adopt in their narrative constructions of the self. Instead, they attempt to create space for themselves within the normative narratives on motherhood and womanhood, thus refuting the idea that lone motherhood is constitutive of identity. At the same time, the life stories reveal how powerful the cultural narratives on motherhood and family are - lone mothers can challenge them, but they can never escape these narratives completely. (Lone Motherhood, Narrative Identity, Life Stories, Cultural Narratives)
    Maternity and Freedom: Australian Feminist Encounters with the Reproductive Body, 2005, Aust. Feminist Studies, Vol. 20, No. 46.
    On 15-16 December 2001, the opinion page of the Sydney Morning Herald featured a large cartoon by Ward O'Neill depicting Prime Minister John Howard pushing a pram packed with seven small white children. On the side and front of the pram appeared the inscriptions 'The Liberals, Pregnant with Promise' and 'Father of the Nation', while flower beds surrounding it displayed the signs 'Policy with testosterone' and 'Finely crafted social and fiscal policy leading to successful procreation'. One child held up a carrot, signalling the government's efforts to tempt women to give birth for the nation. This cartoon was produced in the wake of an election won by the Liberal National Party Coalition in the context of fierce debates about Tampa and war against the al Qaeda network and the Taliban in Afghanistan. Western leaders wasted no time in conjuring up the Muslim, Arab Other and in Australia this only further exacerbated a fearful consciousness of borders and the possibility of the Other's too dominant presence on Australian soil.

    The pronatalism being pilloried in O'Neill's cartoon can be read in conjunction with Howard's responses to asylum seekers as representing the federal government's anxiety about the decline, in proportion to other subpopulations, of the white population in Australia. The image of the Prime Minister is striking for its evocation of the plethora of cartoons produced in and around 1901 showing Sir Henry Parkes, proclaimed father of federation, and Sir Edmund Barton, Australia's first Prime Minister, wearing mob caps, dresses and aprons and pushing the pram of, or nursing, the infant human body of the newly federated Australia.1 The policies that O'Neill's cartoon makes reference to indicate that the pronatalism so obviously present in the political rhetoric of federation, and the post-First World War and post-Second World War calls for repopulation, resurfaced in state discourses of pregnancy and motherhood at the turn into the twenty-first century. His cartoon also attests to the fact that this rhetoric was not without its critics. However, despite the feminist movement's compelling, and in many ways effective, public critiques of this return to maternal citizenship, women's bodies continue to be produced as both obstacles to, and insurers of, the future of the nation.


    --- Mothers Pdf Files ---
  • Ambivalence and Ambiguity Motherhood/Feminity and Fatherhood/Masculinity in Mirror
  • Discursive matrixes of motherhood
  • Existential Stories on The Myth and Reality of Motherhood
  • Family violence and social security Submission: National Council of Single Mothers and their Children Inc. 2011
  • Lone and couple mothers in the Australian labour market: Exploring differences in employment transitions"
  • Mothers and Fathers with young children paid employment, caring and wellbeing (Aust)"
  • Memoir: My happy cold war summers in memory of my mother
  • Social status polarization in the timing and trajectories to motherhood
  • Thinking intergenerationally about Motherhood
  • The making of modern motherhood Memories, Representations and Practices"
  • The mother question writing about the diversity and complexity of contemporary motherhood (2007)
  • The origin of lone parent concentrations in metropolitan and regional Australia
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    --- Psychoanalysis ---
    My thesis was primarily concerned with 'maternal subjectivity' and the question what are women doing when they are mothering? I ended up giving the title 'Journey to the center of the earth' to one of my conference papers. In order to locate the maternal subject I drew from the sociological understandings of Cornelius Castoriadis and Jessica Benjamin in an emergent field of 'psychoanalytic sociology' that is attempting to marry notions from within psychoanalysis to social theory. My thesis drew in particular from concepts of 'intersubjectivity', 'intrapsychic processes of the self', and 'identification' in my attempts to locate the maternal subject and explain the maternal experience. I found that the few references to 'intersubjectivity' from within the midwifery field were to interactions between the nurse and the mother; but what of the mother-infant connection surely this should be a central concern. Again there is some wonderful work taking place within this field. You may need to give yourself time and space to absorb some of this material but, I for one, think of it as a 'gold mine'

    Theory and Practice: Psychoanalytic Sociology as Psycho-Social Studies, 2006, Simon Clarke, Sociology, Volume 40(6)
    Over the past few years there has been an increasing interest in the use of psychoanalytic ideas within a sociological framework. These ideas have been largely developed within sociological theory rather than practice. There does, however, seem to be a new frame of thought and practice emerging which we could term psycho-social studies, perhaps even a new discipline in its own right. In this article I will discuss the development of the use of psychoanalytic ideas around sociological issues, explore some of the tensions that have arisen and evaluate the implications for methodological practice.
    Mother courage: reflections on maternal resilience, 2007, Lisa Baraitser and Amelie Noack, British Journal of Psychotherapy, 23 (2)
    This paper attempts to develop a psychoanalytic perspective on maternal resilience. It argues that notions of resilience have been largely focused on the development of resilience in children, with the mother being viewed as a key figure in understanding its success or failure. However, the development of maternal resilience - the capacity for mothers to survive the vicissitudes of the parenting experience itself - has received less attention, occluding an important aspect of maternal subjectivity. Drawing on recent work on maternal ambivalence, this paper explores the relation between ambivalence and resilience, and provides clinical material from a two-year slow-open analytic group for mothers at the Maya Centre to illustrate our view that maternal resilience may usefully describe the aspect of ambivalence that entails bearing and accepting ourselves as mothers as well as our ambivalent feelings about our children.

    Oi Mother, Keep Ye' Hair On! Impossible Transformations of Maternal Subjectivity, 2006, Lisa Baraitser, Studies in Gender and Sexuality, 7 (3), pp. 217-238
    Motherhood is commonly referred to as a transformational experience. Where the psychoanalytic literature articulates the maternal subject and her development, transformation is figured as a working through of infantile issues prompted by the psychic crisis that motherhood represents. Juxtaposing recent autobiographical accounts of the transition to motherhood with the work of Irigaray, and using my own experiences of early motherhood, I look at the way motherhood as a transformational experience is represented as either the movement from unity towards fluidity, or its reverse, the movement from fluidity to the hardening of desire around the unity of the child. I use a discussion of wigs to show how transformation itself is caught by its own material effects, inevitably failing to pass itself off as the magical movement from one state to another. The transition to motherhood is understood as both the painful and playful realisation of the impossibility of transformation itself.
    Conflict in the transitions to becoming a mother: a psych-social approach, 2009, Wendy Hollway (pdf available online with a google search on the title)
    I like being a Mum, I love it. I've noticed my whole persona slowly started to change. I feel a bit topsy turvy. (Justine)

    In this article I illustrate the central role of dynamic conflict in the identity changes involved in becoming a mother for the first time. I look in depth at two salient themes in 'Justine's' case: the conflict between mothering and work and those surrounding separation with her daughter. My analysis of this single case is psycho-social; that is reducing to neither social nor psychological explanations and attempting to articulate the connections among these. It is informed by a psychoanalytic account of conflict-based unconscious intersubjectivity as a foundation for self formation and demonstrates how these dynamics work across generations to shape a woman's identity as she becomes a mother. I briefly contrast the mother's experience with the father's. Methodologically, I pay detailed attention to the workings of transference dynamics in the interpretation of empirical interview-based data.

    Two bodies in the room: an intersubjective view of female objectification, 2007, Catherine Baker-Pitts, Psychoanalysis, Culture and Society, 12, pp. 124-141.
    This article discusses the effects of female sexual objectification on developing subjectivity and the importance of exploring the patient's associations to the female analyst's body in psychoanalytic work. The patient's subjective responses to the analyst's body can challenge intricate defenses against dependency that are socially constructed, centered on the female body, and tied to bad internal objects. By tending to the other body in the room and also allowing her body to be used as both an object and subject, the analyst offers the potential for an embodied relationship in which the patient may reflect on her interpersonal experience.

    --- There are NO Psychoanalysis Pdf Files ---

    --- Sociology ---
    Some sociologists have characterised this late modern period as 'reflexive modernity' whereby individuals are critically reflecting on the self and in turn breaking down social categories such as race/ethnicity, class and gender; but what of women-as-mothers? Scott Lash asks 'and what of the single mother living in a ghetto?' a question that is answered, I think, by Eva Feder Kittay's 'dependency theory' and/or Matha Fineman's work in the Myth of Autonomy. Sociologists are engaging debates that are critical in this period of change. To what extent can the 'individualization thesis' explain contemporary trends or how do we understand and explain new formulations of class, ethnicity and gender?

    --- Abstracts ---
    Agency and experience: gender as a lived relation, 2004, Lois McNay, Sociological Review.
    The division between material and cultural analysis has become somewhat entrenched in feminist thought, generating a series of theoretical impasses. The central point of contention is that cultural feminists feel that materialists rely on simplistic divisions such as base and superstructure, reality and representation in order to assert the primacy of economic forces in their analysis of women's oppression. Conversely, materialist feminists are critical of the effects of the 'linguistic' turn in feminist theory which, in their view, results in a narrowing down of the issue of oppression to the rarefied one of identity politics. In this chapter I argue for the importance of an understanding of gender as a lived social relation in mediating this impasse. The idea of gender as a lived social relation is opposed to an understanding of gender as a structural location which prevails in both materialist and cultural thought. In the former, gender is seen as a structural location within or intersecting with capitalist class relations, in a way that resembles early feminist debates over the relationship between class and patriarchy (Sargent, 1981). In the latter, gender is regarded primarily as a location within symbolic or discursive structures. By defining gender as a position within an abstract structure, albeit very differently conceived, both materialist and cultural feminists fail to recognize that such abstract forces only reveal themselves in the lived reality of social relations. In other words, it is through developing mediating concepts, in this case agency, that the determining force of economic and cultural relations upon daily life can be made visible and, in this way, the issue of identity can be connected to that of social structure.
    Social work, Individualization and Life Politics, 2001, Harry Ferguson, British Journal of Social Work, 31, p. 41-55
    This paper (re)conceptualizes the fundamental concerns of social work in late-modernity as 'life politics'. Drawing on theories of reflexive modernity and risk society, the emergence of life politics is placed in the context of processes of 'individualization', a transformation of intimacy, and a new kind of reflexivity and concern with risk which have moved to the centre of how both institutions and selfhood are constituted today. The paper aims to move understandings of the radical potential of social work beyond a one-dimensional view of power and risk which arises from an over-structural focus on 'emancipatory politics'. At the heart of late-modern life politics, it is argued, is a new relationship between the personal and the political, expertise and lay people, in which social work increasingly takes the form of being a methodology of 'life planning' for late-modern citizens. The paper aims to advance forms of practice which take the life political domain, emotionality and the depth of social relations as their primary focus, thus enhancing the capacities of (vulnerable) clients to practice effective life-planning, find healing and gain mastery over their lives.

    Imagined childhoods modernity, self and childhood in autobiographical accounts, 2004, Marianne Gullestad, ISF paper, no. 12, Institutt for samfunnsforskning (Institute for Social Research)
    In this article I demonstrate interesting connections between the imagining of nations and the imagining of childhoods. Much is written today about the imagined communities of nations, while little is written about how adults look back at their own childhoods. The article takes off from two paradoxes. The first paradox is that childhood reminiscences constitute a crucial part of many modern life stories (written autobiographies as well as life stories elicited through interviews), and that this fact has barely been studied and theorized. The second paradox is that although life stories are becoming increasingly popular, how to study them is becoming increasingly problematic. Can life stories told by the adults help us understand childhood experiences from "the child's point of view"? The difference between the self who tells and the self who was is at its greatest when people narrate their childhood experiences. It is in this sense that childhood recollections can be regarded as imagined childhoods. I distinguish between textual childhoods (the way they are told) and lived childhoods (the way they are experienced). Childhood memories call into questions widespread notions of fact and fiction, requiring the scholar to open up the notion of truth. The discussion brings together insights from many disciplines with implications for both social and literary theory.
    Place, Class and Local Circuits of Reproduction: Exploring the Social Geography of Middle-class Childcare in London, 2005, Linda McDowell, Kevin Ward, et. al., Urban Studies, vol. 43, no. 12.
    In a recent revival of the older tradition of community studies, sociologists and geographers have begun to address the changing nature of attachment to locality in contemporary cities in advanced industrial societies. Challenging older definitions of attachment to place, a new form of communal attachment has recently been identified, termed 'elective belonging'. This sense of place is particularly important among the middle classes and is, it is argued, closely associated with the growing significance of reproduction, especially access to schooling, as a key part of the reasons for choosing to live in a particular urban neighbourhood. Sociologists of education have also argued that school choice is important. A recent paper has suggested that pre-school childcare also figures in locational choices and in urban differentiation, leading to different traditions of caring/mothering in different neighbourhoods in London. This paper critically assesses these arguments about school and childcare choices and the associated development of place-based middle-class cultures. Based on an empirical study in three London neighbourhoods, it explores the extent to which occupational position and sector of employment-class-based factors-as well as place-based factors continue to play a key role in the types of opportunities and choices that middle-class households make about childcare.
    In Search of a 'Good Mix': 'Race', Class, Gender and Practices of Mothering, Bridget Byrne, Sociology, Volume 40(6): 1001-1017
    Drawing on interviews with white middle-class mothers, this article examines the ways in which mothering involves practices and identities which are classed, raced and gendered. In particular, it focuses on the construction and articulation of middle- classness with whiteness. The article examines the women's descriptions of how they constructed social networks as mothers, chose schools for their children and planned their after-school activities. It argues that these activities involved in being mothers and bringing up children can be understood as performative of race, class and gender. That is, practices of mothering are implicated in repeating and re-inscribing classed and raced discourses.

    --- Sociology Pdf Files ---

  • Foundational Myths and the reality of dependency the role of marriage
  • The networked famil reframing the legal understanding of caregiving and caregivers
  • Why Lesbians and gay men should read Martha Fineman
  • The sexual family Martha Fineman Theorist
  • The Girl Effect it's no big deal just the future of humanity
  • Communities, social capital and public policy literature review (Aust. 2005)
  • Governing the social: Reconfiguring state and civil society relations (Aust. 2006)
  • Self, society and everday life
  • Young women negotiating maternal subjectivities the significance of social class

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    --- Economics ---

    --- Abstracts ---
    Over the course of the twentieth century care for infants, the infirm aged and the disabled has been privatized and socially structured within the gendered family form; the male breadwinner and the female carer. Trends towards gender equity have reached a new high water mark that have brought forth calls for transformational change to the social structuring of care and the concept of 'social care'.
    Re-thinking the ''Feminization of Poverty'' in Relation to Aggregate GenderIndices, 2006, Sylvia Chant, Journal of Human Development, Vol. 7, No. 2, July
    The ''feminization of poverty'' is often referred to without adequate specification or substantiation, and does not necessarily highlight aspects of poverty that are most relevant to women at the grassroots. The United Nations Development Programme's gender indices go some way to reflecting gendered poverty, but there is scope for improvement. In order to work towards aggregate indices that are more sensitive to gender gaps in poverty as identified and experienced by poor women, the main aims of this paper are two-fold. The first is to draw attention to existing conceptual and methodological weaknesses with the 'feminization of poverty', and to suggest how the construct could better depict contemporary trends in gendered privation. The second is to propose directions for the kinds of data and indicators that might be incorporated within the Gender-related Development Index or the Gender Empowerment Measure, or used in the creation of a Gendered Poverty Index.
    Disciplinary Neoliberalism in the European Union and Gender Politics, 2000, Brigitte Young, New Political Economy, Vol. 5, No. 1
    (Introductory paragraph) This article explores the development of European employment policy and equal opportunity policies and argues that this development fits quite readily into the pro-market-forming activities of the neoliberal governance structure of the European Union (EU). Both the Amsterdam Treaty of June 1997 and the Luxembourg Jobs Summit of November 1997 showed a much greater concern with gender issues than had been the case in either the Delors White Paper of 1993 or the Essen Council of Ministers meeting in December 1994, so much so that Jill Rubery has argued that with the start of the Amsterdam Treaty the EU entered a new phase of European employment policy characterised by a growing recognition of the importance of gender issues. Nevertheless, feminist scholars have reached quite different conclusions about the impact of the EU equal opportunities agenda on women in member states and an important debate has opened up to which this article seeks to contribute.
    Neoliberalism, gender inequality and the Australian labour market, 2008, Yolanda van Gellecum, Janeen Baxter, and Mark Western, Journal of Sociology, Volume 44(1): 45-63
    Over the past 25 years neoliberal philosophies have increasingly informed labour market policies in Australia that have led to increasing levels of wage decentralization. The most recent industrial relations changes aim to decentralize wage setting significantly further than has previously been the case. We argue that this is problematic for gender equity as wage decentralization will entrench rather than challenge the undervaluation of feminized work. In this article we provide an overview of key neoliberal industrial relations policy changes pertinent to gender equity and examine the current state of gender equity in the labour market. Results show that women's labour force participation has steadily increased over time but that a number of negative trends exclude women with substantial caring responsibilities from pursuing a career track. The implications of increasing levels of wage deregulation are that gender wage inequality and the potential for discrimination will grow.
    Market returns? Gender and theories of change in employment relations, Sarah Irwin and Wendy Bottero, British Journal of Sociology Vol. No. 51 Issue No. 2 (June) pp. 261-280
    This paper explores recent arguments about the marketization of female labour, in the context of a wider analysis of the role of concepts like 'the market' and 'individualization' in sociological accounts of change in employment relations. It will be argued that within sociology there has been a tendency for rapid, largescale changes in employment relations to be characterized as the breakdown of social influences or structures and as the emergence of atomized, individuated market forces. In the most recent models, change in the nature of gendered positions within employment are presented in terms of a decline of social structuring and social constraint. These emergent accounts hold similarities to classical economics, and to Marx's and Weber's accounts of employment, which also characterized new forms of employment relations in terms of the emptying of their social content and their replacement by market forms. We offer an alternative, moral economy, perspective which foregrounds the continued significance of social relations in the structuring of employment and employment change. We develop the argument through an analysis of gendered patterns of employment and change in family form.
    The adult worker model family, gender equality and care: the search for new policy principles and the possibilities and problems of a capabilities approach, 2005, Jane Lewis and Susanna Giullari, Economy and Society, Volume 34 Number 1 February: 76 to 104
    There is evidence that policy-makers in most Western welfare states are moving towards a new set of assumptions about the contributions that men and women make to families, based on an adult worker model. This paper first examines this shift in policy assumptions at the EU level and goes on to argue that there are real limits to the pursuit of a full adult worker model based on the commodification of care. In respect of gender equality, this in turn raises the issue of the terms and conditions on which such a shift in policy assumptions are made, particularly about the valuing and sharing of the unpaid work of care. The final part of the paper examines the possibilities offered by the capabilities approach of addressing these issues.

    Lone motherhood and socio-economic disadvantage: insights from quantitative and qualitative evidence, 2005, Karen Rowlingson and Stephen McKay, The Sociological Review.
    Children's socio-economic origins have a major impact on their socio-economic destinations. But what effect do they have on other kinds of destinations, such as family life? In this article we assess the extent and nature of the relationship between social class background and lone motherhood, using a combination of research methods. We analyse three large datasets and explore in detail qualitative information from 44 in-depth interviews. Our analysis shows that women from working class backgrounds are more likely to become lone mothers (especially never-married lone mothers) than women from middle class backgrounds. Moreover, the experience of lone motherhood is very different for women from working class backgrounds compared with other women.
    Taking control of one's own life? Norwegian lone mothers experiencing the new employment strategy, 2006, Liv. J. Syltevik, Community, Work and Family, Vol. 9, No. 1, February, pp.75-94
    The Norwegian system of benefits for lone mothers was revised in the late 1990s. The reform entailed an altered conception of the interrelations between gender, the labour market and the welfare state in Norway basically shrinking the period it is possible to stay at home with your children as a lone mother. This paper discusses the implementation and the consequences of these new policies from a gender and power perspective. The reform was meant to give lone parents more power over their own life, independence, higher income and self-realization. Lone parents' own statements about their experiences show the problematic aspects of dependency on welfare, as well as the difficult aspects of dependency on the market. The reform was based on two assumptions, namely, that the market provides work opportunities and that gender equality has now been achieved in Norway. The paper concludes that since both assumptions are questionable, those lone parents least capable for this struggle have been turned into pioneers struggling for a place in the market and for that very gender equality.
    Welfare, work, and changes in mothers' living arrangements in low-income families, 2004, Andrew Cherlin and Paula Fomby, Population Research and Policy Review, 23: 543-565
    Data from a two-wave survey of low-income families in Boston, Chicago, and San Antonio are used to replicate recent reports of a modest increase in the number of low income children living in two-adult families and to analyze the increase. We find that most of the increase occurred through the addition of a man other than the biological father to the household and that more of it occurred through cohabitation than through marriage. Moreover, across the two waves, cohabiting and marital unions were highly unstable. We review research on stepfamilies and on instability in children's living arrangements, and we conclude that the kinds of two-adult families being formed in these low-income central-city neighborhoods may not benefit children as much as policy-makers hope. In addition, we investigate the associations between marital and cohabiting transitions, on the one hand, and transitions into and out of Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) receipt, employment, and Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) usage between the two waves on the other. We find that marital transitions are related to TANF and employment transitions but that cohabiting transitions are not. We suggest that low-income mothers may view marriage as more of an economic partnership than cohabitation and may expect more of an economic contribution from a husband than from a cohabiting partner.
    'What Would I Be Doing at Home All Day?': oral narratives of Irish married women's working lives 1936-1960, 2004, Elizabeth Kiely and Maire Leane, Women's History Review, Volume 13, Number 3, page 427
    This article examines the preliminary findings of an oral history project on women's working lives in three Irish counties in the period 1936-1960. By employing a feminist analysis of the narratives, the authors endeavour to investigate the extent to which the reality of married women's working lives corresponded with the rhetoric of Irish womanhood generated by political and religious discourses of the day. The analysis reveals that while the women did accept the home-based motherhood role prescribed for them, in many cases financial necessity dictated that they combine this role with that of part-time and in some cases, full-time participation in the labour market.
    Who gets the best deal from marriage: women or men? 2002, Ken Dempsey, Journal of Sociology, vol. 38 (2), pp.91-110
    Feminists of various kinds - structural, radical, critical, materialist - have repeatedly asserted that marriage benefits men more than women and usually at women's expense. There is now a considerable body of empirical evidence that supports the major thrust of their claims. However, there are feminists adopting a post-structuralist perspective who argue that many accounts of men's dominance are overly deterministic. The argument goes that there is insufficient recognition of change that is already ensuring more rewarding marriages for women much of which is probably due to women's exercise of agency. It is further argued that, in order for women to initiate successful change, it is necessary but not sufficient for them to be aware of inequalities and other shortcomings occurring at specific sites in their marriage. In the present study, a sample of 45 wives and 40 husbands were questioned to see if they agreed that men generally benefited the most from marriage, to find out what reasons they offered for their judgements and to establish if women were more conscious than men of the need for specific changes in their own marriages. The possibilities of actors negotiating successfully for specific change in the face of their partner's opposition are also considered. It is argued that women will make only limited gains until men experience a change of heart.

    Gender, welfare, regimes, and agency, 2002, Sheila Shaver, Social Politics, Summer.
    The debate on gender regimes and feminist study of welfare states that has run through recent issues of Social Politics is raising interesting and important questions. A decade ago, gender was a distinctly marginal interest in welfare state scholarship. It is not marginal now. Many of the concerns that feminists have raised about what welfare states do, how they are changing, and how they should be understood have an active presence in current mainstream social policy scholarship. One reason for this is that feminists have chosen the issues well. Themes such as the reliance of postindustrial service economies on female labor, contradictory electoral demands for more personal services and fewer taxes, tensions between the gender division of labor in paid and unpaid work, and long-term concern about falling fertility and population aging are central to politics and welfare state restructuring in many countries in the present period. But this is not the only reason for Social Politics' currency. As participants in the recent debates have recognized, mainstream scholarship has also taken feminist analytical perspectives on board, most notably in expanding the dual terms of state and market to the trilogy of state, market, and family.
    Why women invented and must reinvent, the idea of a welfare state, 1999, Marilyn Lake, Eureka Street, Vol.9, no.1
    (introductory paragraph) The media has newly discovered an age-old social problem: the difficulty experienced by women attempting to reconcile the apparently irreconcilable - the onerous burden of mothering and domestic work on the one hand and the imperatives of paid work in the labour market, on the other. Women, it appears, are finding it all too difficult.

    --- Economics Pdf Files ---

  • Occupational segregation and the gender wage gap inequality in private and public sector employment a distributional analysis (Aust. Germany 2008)
  • Gender sensitive and women-friendly public policies a comparative analysis of the progress and impact EQUAPOL 2005
  • The networked famil reframing the legal understanding of caregiving and caregivers
  • Family life events and mothers employment transitions Australia 2005
  • One parent families: characteristics, causes, consequences and issues (Canada 2006)
  • Farewell to Maternalism? state policies and mothers' employment - Orloff
  • Lessons of U.S. welfare reform for Australian social policy (2002)
  • Gazing at Welfare, Gender and Agency in Post-socialist Countries Gazing at Welfare, Gender and Agency in Post-socialist Countries Europe 2011
  • Housework and divorce division of domestic labour and relationship breakdown in Australia

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