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

Maternal Health & WellBeing

--- Books ---

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Transition Midwives-MatCH Nurses Equity Family Care Feminism
My Articles Mothering-Motherhood Psychoanalysis Sociology Economics End of Page

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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 & family); and negotiating more housework. A further and central element in this transition is in the developing relationship between the mother & 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 & Brannen (2005) as critical in attempts to achieve gender equal outcomes.

--- Summaries ---
Belsky, J., Kelly, J.,. 1994. The transition to parenthood: how the first child changes a marriage. Original edition, Vermilion, London.
Featured on Oprah and excerpted in Glamour magazine in its hardcover edition, this exploration of the positive and negative effects the birth of a child has on a marriage is based on the largest, most comprehensive study of couples entering parenthood ever conducted. After the birth of a first baby, a marriage will never be the same financially, emotionally, physically, and sexually. But is that a good thing, or a bad one? Over a seven-year period, Dr. Jay Belsky conducted a major study of 250 couples entering the world of parenthood and concluded that the blessed event makes some marriages stronger than ever, while for others the impact is supremely negative. The Transition to Parenthood explodes the myths of parenthood and marriage and provides a crucial examination of both addressing many issues. Couples will find not only answers to their many questions but also comfort in knowing that they are not alone in feeling confused during a time that they expected to be one of blissful contentment.
Feeney, Judith, Lydia Hohaus, Patricia Noller, and Richard P. Alexander. 2001. Becoming Parents Exploring the Bonds between Mothers, Fathers, and Their Infants. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Becoming parents presents a landmark study of the transition to parenthood and its effects on individual well-being and couple relationships. It tracks the experiences of couples becoming parents for the first time, from the second trimester of pregnancy to six months after birth. The book addresses such key issues as the division of domestic labor, the changing nature of couples' marital relationships, changes in new parents' attachment networks, postnatal depression, and factors predicting the ease of transition. The research was based on adult attachment theory, an exciting new approach to couple relationships. The insights gleaned from interviews, questionnairs, and diaries reveal a unique, intriguing picture of parenthood.
Fox, Bonnie, 2009, When couples become parents The creation of gender in the Transition to Parenthood, Toronto: University of Toronto.
When couples make the journey through their first year of parenthood they confront their new responsibilities with varying amounts of support and a range of personal resources. When Couples become parents examines the way in which divisions based on gender evolve and are challenged during couples' transition from late pregnancy through early parenthood. Following the experiences of forty heterosexual couples from various socio-economic backgrounds, bonnie Fox traces the intricate interplay of social and material resources in the negotiations that occur between partners, the resulting divisions of paid and unpaid work in their families, and the interpersonal dynamics in their relationships. Exploring the diverse reactions of these women and men, When couples become parents provides significant insights into the early stages of parenthood, the limitaions of nuclear families, and the gender inequalities that often develop with parenthood.


--- Midwives - Maternal and Child Health 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.

--- Summaries ---
Stewart, S.H.(ed). 2004. Pregnancy, Birth & Maternity Care Feminist Perspectives, U.K.:Books for Midwives.
I think this is a very important book. There are many feminisms. They all place the perspectives and concerns of women at the centre of their understanding. This book outlines a number of feminist theoretical orientations. The chapters apply feminist principles of understanding to all aspects of midwifery: pregnancy, birth, the postnatal period, breast-feeding, postnatal depression and midwifery education. There are also chapters dealing with more general aspects of feminist thought including sexuality and ways of knowing. A study examining midwifery partnership with women in Aotearoa/New Zealand and a personal account by Nicky Leap of her journey from feminism to midwifery are also included. By using feminist principles to examine midwifery theory and practice the authors describe a basis for the development of real woman centred care. The development of such an approach is necessary if midwifery is to develop further as a profession in its own right and not as an adjunct to obstetrics. And this development would seem to be desperately necessary to counteract the prevalence and institutionalisation of tokophobia in this and other industrialised societies. Feminism can provide a critique of the subservient relationship between obstetrics and midwifery. I think that this book provides the basic tools for midwifery to confront obstetrics as a discipline which is different -- and equal. I think this book is suitable for midwives at all levels including, maybe especially, students. If its principles were fully internalised maternity care would be transformed for the better by placing the needs of women rather than the needs of the institutions of health care delivery at the centre of care.
Chamberlain, Mary. 1981. Old Wives Tales their history, remedies and spells. London: Virgo.
We may all know that dandelions make us wet the bed, and that stewed prunes are a cure for constipation, but how many of us were aware that a poultice of chicken manure is a remedy for baldness? Or that eel liver will aid a difficult labour? The woman healer is as old as history. For millennia she has been doctor, nurse and midwife, and even in the age of modern medicine her wisdom is handed down in the form of old wives' tales. Using extensive research into archives and original texts, and numerous conversations with women in city and countryside, Mary Chamberlain presents a stimulating challenge to orthodox medicine and an illuminating history of female wisdom which goes back to the earliest times. What are old wives' tales? Where do they come from? Do they really work? These questions, and many more, are answered in this fascinating compendium of remedies and cures handed down from mother to daughter from the beginning of time.
Barnes, Margaret, and Jennifer Rowe, eds. 2008. Child, Youth and Family Health Strengthening Communities. Sydney: Elsevier Australia.
This book examines cornerstone issues affecting the health and wellness of infants, children, young people and their families in Australia and New Zealand. Pivotal to the text is the role of health care professionals, specifically but not exclusively nurses and midwives, in maintaining and strengthening individual and community health across a range of contexts and life stages. Ever topical issues such as Indigenous health, mental health, becoming a family, acute and chronic illness, and loss and grief are explored in depth, and professional challenges such as developing programs, communication strategies and practice integrity are addressed in discrete chapters. Cultural safety, diversity and difference, and historical, economic and social factors are reinforced throughout the text. The ample use of case studies, practice tips, critical questions and reflective activities serves to highlight the application of theory and further engage the reader.

Forman Cody, Lisa. 2005. Birthing the Nation Sex, Science, and the Conception of Eighteenth-century Britons. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
How could the professional triumph of man-midwifery and contemporary tales of pregnant men, rabbit-breeding mothers, and meddling midwives in eighteenth-century Britain help construct the emergence of modern corporate and individual identities? By uncovering long-lost tales and artifacts about sexuality, birth, and popular culture, Lisa Forman Cody argues that Enlightenment Britons understood themselves and their relationship to others through their experiences and beliefs about the reproductive body. Birthing the Nation traces two intertwined narratives that shaped eighteenth-century British life: the development of the modern British nation, and the emergence of the male expert as the pre-eminent authority over matters of sexual behaviour, reproduction, and childbirth. By taking seriously contemporary caricatures, jokes, and rumours that used gender, birth, and family to make claims about religious, ethnic and national identity, Cody illuminates an entirely new view of the eighteenth-century public sphere as focused on the bodily and the bizarre.

In a monarchy arbitrated by its official religion, regulation of reproduction and childbirth was vital to the very stability of British political authority and the coherence of British culture, challenged as it was by Catholicism, the French Revolution, and social change. In the late seventeenth century, the English feared the power of female midwives to control the destiny of the royal family, yet men-midwives and male experts had hardly proved their superiority to manage the successful birth of children. By the mid-eighteenth century, however, male midwives became experts over the domestic world of pregnancy and childbirth, largely replacing female midwives among the middling and elite families. Cody suggests that these new professionals provided a new model for masculine comportment and emergent intimate relationships within the middle-class and elite home.

Most surprisingly, Cody has discovered many interconnections between obstetrics and politics, and shows how male experts transformed what had once been the private, feminine domain of birth and midwifery into topics of public importance and universal interest, leading even Adam Smith and Edmund Burke to attend lectures on obstetrical anatomy. This is the first book to place the eighteenth-century shift from female midwives to male midwives as the dominant experts over childbirth in a larger cultural and political context. Cody illuminates how eighteenth-century Britons understood and symbolized political, national, and religious affiliation through the experiences of the body, sex, and birth. In turn, she takes seriously how the political arguments and rhetoric of the age were not always made on disembodied, rational terms, but instead referenced deep cultural beliefs about gender, reproduction, and the family.

Hasler, Jane. 2009. No Bloody Wonder - Exposing the relationship between postnatal depression (PND) and the gender order. PhD Thesis. Sydney: University of Sydney.
ABSTRACT: Postnatal depression (PND) has historically been ?medicalised? in Western society. It has conventionally been viewed as a medical illness which occurs spontaneously and is best treated with pharmacological and psychotherapeutic interventions. However, research over the last few decades suggests that gender relations and gender arrangements are central to the development of PND within Western society. The aims of this thesis were to investigate the adequacy of the dominant biomedical approach to PND within the contemporary Australian context and to investigate the relationship between the gender order and women?s experiences of PND. A primary focus of the research was the concept of gender identity which is implicit to this order. ?Gender identity? in this context refers to the adoption of roles, values, beliefs and practices that reflect normative definitions of femininity and masculinity. These include societal expectations about what constitutes the identities of the ?good mother? and ?good father?, and individual responses to these unrealistic expectations. A feminist/sociological framework which positions the concept of power as central to gender relations and gender institutions was utilised. The research includes a qualitative study which involved in-depth interviews with twenty Australian women, aged between twenty-five and forty-five, who had each experienced PND within three years prior to the interview. Three important themes emerged from the narratives. Firstly, it was found that the dominant medical approach to PND has a number of shortcomings, with the main limitation being that this approach largely ignores the concept of gender in understandings of this phenomenon. Secondly, the narratives illuminated a strong relationship between the demands of the gender order - particularly those associated with the gender division of labour and the dominance of ?good mother? and ?good father? ideologies - and the womens? experience of PND. Thirdly, the ?crisis of identity? that a number of women experience when they become a mother was found to be closely linked to the participants? profound sense of loss of their former self and the difficulties they experience in relation to the ?good mother? identity. The research suggests that a range of beliefs, behaviours and institutions have a significant negative impact on the wellbeing of women in the postnatal period. Both the state and the individual need to take relevant action to address these forces for change to occur. However, it is vital that PND first needs to be re-conceptualised as an understandable reaction to the demands of the current Australian gender order. This would allow for the development of new and innovative prevention and treatment approaches to PND. A model has been developed by the author of this thesis to assist in making clear the significant relationship between the contemporary Australian gender order and the experience of PND.
Hunt, Sheila, and Anthea Symonds. 1995. The Social Meaning of Midwifery. London: Macmillan.
`This book is fascinating.' - Jill Cohen, International Journal of Midwifery `Sheila Hunt, in her observational study of labour ward culture shows us as we are.' - MIDIRS Midwifery Digest `I foresee it becoming a vadet mecum for all those involved in the provision of intrapartum care, wherever that may take place.' - Jeanne Taylor, Midwives Many books exist illustrating the power structure of the medical professional, which is male gendered, and its significance for women within this. No study has so far tackled the relationship between women as child birth professionals and women as mothers. The attitude of the midwife towards the labour ward is examined. How the mother is marginalised by the managerial role taken on by the midwife towards the production process (childbirth) and the object of production (child) is the main focus of this book. The stream of feminist orientation, which is said to run through a section of the midwifery profession, is examined.

Kitzinger, Sheila. 2005. The Politics of Birth. Edinburgh: Elsevier.
One way of looking at birth is to see it entirely in terms of biology - how the reproductive process works in the human body. Another is to assess risk - examine what might go wrong in physiological mechanisms, and describe methods of preventing and treating malfunction. But to understand how women experience birth it has to be seen in its social context: the way in which people interact, the meanings that events have for them, and the relationships between all those involved - the social construction of reality. The Politics of Birth explores ways in which we learn about birth, how we talk and feel about it, assumptions that professional caregivers may make, and the roles and skills of midwives. Topics include home birth and water birth; the use of drugs in childbirth; obstetric and nursing interventions which are often used routinely; Caesarean sections; pressures that care-givers are under, and the choices presented to women that are more apparent than real. Throughout, the author draws on research-based evidence to present both an holistic yet grounded examination of topical issues surrounding pregnancy and childbirth. This is not a "how to" book. The aim of The Politics of Birth is to help the reader develop deeper insight and understanding of how a technocratic birth culture shapes our ideas about birth and obstetric practice.
Nicolson, Paula. 1998. Post-Natal Depression. London, New York: Routledge.
This text challenges the expectation that it is normal to be a "happy mother". It provides a critique of the traditional medical and social science explanations of "post natal depression" by supplying a systematic feminist psychological analysis of women's experiences following childbirth. Paula Nicolson argues that, far from it being an abnormal, undesirable, pathological condition, it is rather a normal, healthy response to a series of losses. REVIEW: "The author's use of the case material conveys how well she can bring together different types of information to make key points and to do so with great clarity." - Contemporary Psychology - "This work suggests we still need to look more closely at taken for granted assumptions in our knowledge about and at the questions we ask about motherhood." Jenny Littlewood, Journal of Health Psychology
Oakley, Ann. 1980. Women Confined Towards a Sociology of Childbirth. Oxford: Margin Robertson.
This book is about one particular aspect of women's lives: their reactions to childbirth. In it Oakley tried to show how the first experience of childbirth is an example of general change in people's lives, and how women's responses to the advent of motherhood can be seen in these terms. Her other major concern was with the contribution of medical maternity care to women's feelings about becoming mothers. Oakley asked the question whether there is any connection between the two. Women Confined is thus not a book about women 'in general' - though she said that she hoped that what the book has to say will contribute to an understanding of how women's situation is differentiated from that of men in modern industrialized society.
Oakley, A. 1993. Essays on Women, Medicine and Health. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
In "Women, Medicine and Health", Ann Oakley brings together the best of her essays on the sociology of women's health. Mixing 14 new articles with other pieces, she focuses on four major themes: the professional role of women within the health service; motherhood and maternity care; medical technology and women; and the methodology of research. Oakley combines serious academic discourse from a feminist sociological perspective with a practical understanding of what it is to be a woman facing the often impersonal world of 20th-century medicine.

Page, Lesley Ann ed. 2000. The New Midwifery Science and Sensitivity in Practice. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone.
Being a midwife today requires not only good clinical skills but also a broad understanding of the social and emotional changes a woman goes through before and after birth. The New Midwifery Second Edition looks at combining scientific knowledge with the more intangible skills needed in sensitive communication to provide the best possible care for the mother and her family. "There was a kind of silence in the relationship, a stillness which was very important. And we'd done all the talking in the build up. So the talking was done. I felt confident that she [the midwife] knew where I was coming from and vice versa. It was like we'd done all our dress rehearsal - what if, what if. And on the day there was nothing left to say really. So it just felt very calm, and I think that was the most important thing." The second edition of this celebrated text explores vividly the various skills and approaches that lead to successful midwifery practice and uses care stories to bring these to life. Building on a thorough grounding of theory and research evidence, The New Midwifery will enable all midwives to practise with a more effective range of skills and, as these real-life quotes from mothers bear out, provide unique professional support before, during and after birth. "I think we had a really good relationship actually. It was more of a friend relationship, but a friend you could trust in - a professional friend you could rely on."
Pairman, Sally, Jan Pincombe, Carol Thorogood, and Sally Tracy. 2006. Midwifery Preparation for Practice. Sydney: Churchill Livingstone.
Midwifery Preparation for Practice (second edition) is the only text which reflects the historical and socio - political environment in which midwives in Australia and New Zealand practice. In addition, it is the only text which incorporates the philosophy and standards endorsed by New Zealand and Australian Colleges of Midwives while also focusing on the partnership between midwives with women and the woman- centred model of midwifery care. The second edition has built on the existing philosophy and structure of Midwifery: Preparation for Practice, though with a greater emphasis on the development of critical thinking and researching skills. Key chapters have been re-written to reflect recent changes in government legislation while current research and pertinent examples are included throughout the text. This new edition is supported by a comprehensive suite of resources for both Instructors and Students using the Evolve website as a platform. These ancillaries will re-enforce the critical thinking elements for students with interactive case studies and scenario based learning exercises as well as the multiple choice questions.
Seamans, Anne and Cathy Winks, 2001, The Mothers guide to Sex enjoying your sexuality through all stages of motherhood, Three Rivers Press, New York.
Just because you're a motehr, or about to become one, doesn't mean you have to kiss your sex life good-bye. Finally, here's a unique guidebook that offers practical advice on honoring your sexuality throughout every stage of motherhood. Honest, humorous, and reassuring, the Mother's Guide to sex delivers comprehensive information about sex and parenting, including recommendations from medical experts, sex experts, and the best experts of all - hundreds of other mothers, whose candid anecdotes and suggestions will support, encourage, and inspire you to explore your maternal sexuality. As mothers of all ages and background share their thoughts on fluctuating desire, changing bodies, relationship challenges, and more, you'll realise that you're not alone in your yearning to combine motherhood and a good sex life.
Rafferty, Anne Marie. 1996. The Politics of Nursing Knowledge. London: Routledge.
This work puts into context the historical factors which have shaped and sometimes limited the development of nurse education. It makes a critical reappraisal of Florence Nightingale's vision of nursing and looks at how training and policy-making have evolved from the origins of hospital reform in the 1860s to the start of the National Health Service in 1948. Highlighting the contemporary issues confronting all those in training, the book questions the extent to which nursing fits into the mould of both a profession and an academic discipline. Based on research, it is intended as a resource for nursing students at undergraduate and postgraduate levels.

Rubin, R. 1984. Maternal Identity and the Maternal Experience. New York: Springer Publishing Co.
Rubin introduced the concept of Maternal Role Attainment in the late nineteen sixties. (Rubin, 1967). She described the maternal role as a complex cognitive and social process which is learned, reciprocal, and interactive. Maternal identity is considered the culmination or end-point of MRA, characterized by the woman's comfort in her role. Rubin's work focused on "traditional" mothers and dealt with MRA from the point of acceptance of the pregnancy to one month postpartum. Building on the work of Rubin, Ramona Mercer studied mothers of all age groups and experiences and created the practice-oriented theory of MRA (Mercer, 1981 , Mercer, 1985 , Mercer, 1986). She expanded on Rubin's time frame for MRA, extending the process to 12 months postpartum. Mercer's theory has had tremendous impact on researchers in the parent child arena and is the chief theoretical framework upon which many studies in this field are based.
Stern, Daniel. 1998. The Birth of a Mother. New York: Basic Books.
Mothers are not created by the act of giving birth. Instead, argue the authors, the "motherhood mindset" begins to take shape during pregnancy and is created as parents care for their infant in the weeks and months after the birth. Most women find themselves shifting more attention to other women who are more experienced mothers during this time in an effort to find role models for this new identity. Special sections discuss the problems encountered by the new mothers of handicapped and premature babies, who often feel a sense of failure or inability to bond with their child. Other chapters discuss the impact of parenthood on the marriage and the question of juggling career and baby. Throughout, the focus is on the mother's developing sense of self. Brenda Eheart's The Fourth Trimester (Prentice-Hall, 1983) covers similar ground but does not include as much information on marriage and career concerns.
Thomas, B. Gail. 2000. Be nice and don't drop the baby. In The New Midwifery Science and Sensitivity in Practice, edited by L. A. Page. Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone.
This chapter presents the suggestion that midwifery practice comprises some key essential elements that sometimes get lost in the complexity of 20th century medical approaches. It is important for midwives to remember their core values and the significant aspects that contribute to a positive experience for women.
Woollett, Anne, and Paula Nicholson. 1998. The social construction of motherhood and fatherhood. In The Psychology of Reproduction Vol. 3 Current Issues in Infancy and Parenthood, edited by C. Niven and A. Walker. Oxford: Butterworth Heineman.
Krasnick Warsh, Cheryl, 2010, Prescribed Norms Women and Health in Canada and the United States since 1800, Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
Prescribed Norms details a disturbing socio-metical history that limits and discounts women's own knowledge of their bodies and their health. By comparing ritual practices of various cultures, Prescribed Norms demonstrates how looking at women's health through a masculine lens has distorted current medical understandings of menstruation, menopause, and childbirth, and has often led to faulty medical conclusions. Warsh also illuminates how the shift from informal to more formal, institutionalized treatment impacts both women's health care and women's roles as health practitioners. Always accssible and occasionally irreverent, Warsh's narrative provides readers with multiple foundations for reconsidering women's health and women's health care.


--- 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 traditonal roles but in response to the current work-care regime that does not adequately account for care.

--- Summaries ---
Fineman, Martha, 1995, The Neutered Mother the Sexual Family and other twentieth century tragedies, Routledge, New York.
Calling for nothing less than a radical reform of family law and a reconception of intimacy, this new book by one of America's foremost feminist legal theorists argues strongly against current legal and social policy discussions about the family because they do not have at their core the crucial concepts of caregiving and dependency, as well as the best interests of women and children. Unlike other work focusing on similar themes, The Neutered Mother argues that it is the nurturing tie between mother and child, and not the sexual bond between husband and wife, that should be protected and subsidized as the center of society's concern for the "family". Martha Fineman is especially interested in point out the importance of nurturing work to the larger society as well as making a connection between mothering and other kinds of caregiving. She explains that the symbol of the child may stand for the elderly, the ill or the disabled just as the symbol of the mother is not strictly tied to gender - women can choose not to be mothers (or caretakers) and men can become mothers when they do the caregiving work associated with motherhood. The Neutered Mothers is a crucial step towards defining America's most pressing social policy problems having to do with women, motherhood and the family.
Kittay, Eva, 1998, Loves Labor: Essays on women, equality and dependency, Routledge: UK.
This fascinating study of women carers explores the significance of dependency work by analyzing John Rawls' influential liberal theory and two examples of public policy - welfare reform and family leave - to show how both theory and policy fail women when they miss the centrality of dependency to questions of justice. A vision of an equal society is required, one which recognizes that those who care for others require the support of the larger community.
Fineman, M. 2004. The Autonomy Myth A Theory of Dependency. New York, London: The New York Press.
In this paradign-shifting and controversial book, renowned legal theorist Martha Albertson Fineman argues that American policy makers' overemphasis on the ideals of self-sufficiency and autonomy has negatively affected government policy related to the care of the young, the elderly, and the infirm. The Autonomy Myth makes the compelling case that the sexually-affiliated couple is not the appropriate building block for contemporary families. Instead, Fienman argues, society should be organized around caretaking relationships, particularly those involving children or elderly dependents.


--- Family ---

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

--- Summaries ---
Bittman, Michael, and Jocelyn Pixley. 1997. The Double Life of the Family Myth, Hope and Experience. Sydney: Allen and Unwin.
The modern family is under strain. What we crave most from our families is intimacy, warmth and self-fulfilment but we often find this difficult to achieve. We hold onto these expectations of our families even in the face of contradictory experiences, so the family sustains a double life. The authors explore the gap between our values, expectations and yearnings, and our experiences of everyday family life. Family ritual, political rhetoric, advertising images and television family sitcoms are all windows onto what we want and expect - our myths of the family. Yet our aspirations for intimacy and self-fulfilment are frustrated by unacknowledged inequalities between men and women, and parents and children. The inequalities have their origins in the division of domestic labour and in labour markets that disregard family responsibilities. The Double Life Of The Family argues that our expectations of family life are more powerful than is usually believed and have enormous influence on both the way governments structure social policy and on the decisions made by ordinary people.

Donzelot, Jacques. 1977. The Policing of Families. Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins University Press.
In The Policing of Families, Jacques Donzelot, a student and colleague of Michel Foucault, offers an account of public intervention in the regulation of family affairs since the eighteenth century, showing how this intervention effected radical changes in the structure of what had traditionally been a private domain. Treating the family as a focal point of multiple social practices and discourses, Donzelot examines the role of philanthropy, social work, compulsory mass education, and psychiatry in the control of family life and describes the transformation of mothers into agents of the state. Donzelot also provides a critique of Marxist, psychoanalytic, and feminist conceptions of the family and shows how the policies of the state and the professions molded working-class and middle-class families in quite different ways.
Dempsey, Ken. 1997. Inequalities in Marriage Australia and Beyond. Sydney: Oxford University Press.
This is a readable and disturbing account of partnerships in the 1990's. Marriages are shown to be power relationships still, in which men usually have their way. The often repeated claim made in the popular media that the ranks of "new age guys" are rapidly expanding is shown to be exaggerated, even fallacious. Men do less than their share of work at home, probably spend more money on themselves and have more time to pursue their own interests. Many insights are provided into the reasons for most men resisting sharing the work at home. Illuminated also are some of the reasons many women have for holding to traditional domestic arrangements and being ambivalent about pushing for change.
Irwin, S. 2005. Reshaping Social Life. London, New York: Routledge.
Caught up in current social changes, we do not fully understand the reshaping of social life. In sociological analyses there is a conceptual gap between subjectivities and social structural processes, and we face real difficulties in understanding social change and diversity. Through analysis of key areas of social life, here, Sarah Irwin develops a new and exciting resource for better understanding our changing social world. Breaking with conventional approaches and reconnecting the subjective with the objective, Irwin's book develops a new conceptual and analytical perspective with social relationality, interdependence and social context at its heart. The new perspective is developed through grounded analyses of empirical evidence, and draws on new data. It explores and analyzes: significant changes in family forms, fertility, gender relations and commitments to employment, children and care, both now, and with comparisons to early twentieth century developments; the meshing of norms and social relations in contexts of change; and diverse values, norms and perceptions of fairness, analyzed with respect to diversity over the life course, and in respect of gender, ethnicity and social class. Through analysis of context, Irwin offers new insights, and tackles puzzles of explanation. Reshaping Social Life offers a fascinating and innovative way of slicing into and re-interrogating our changing social world, and is sure to become a landmark resource for students, scholars and researchers.

Jagger, G, and C Wright, eds. 1999. Changing Family Values. London, New York: Routledge.
OUTLINE Reader Store: What is meant by a crisis in the family? In recent years 'the family' has become the controversial focus for many of the important issues Western societies are now facing at the end of the century. it has become commonplace to talk about a 'crisis' in the family which threatens the very fabic of society and for politicians to prescribe a 'return to family values'. But what does any of this actually mean? Changing Family Values explores these questions from a wide variety of perspectives. Ranging across politics, social policy, the law, sociology and history, the contributors focus on the diverse realities of contemporary family life. This edited collection offers a comprehensive introduction to contemporary debates and new research surrounding the family. It will therefore appeal to students in a range of disciplines including sociology, social policy and gender aand women''s studies.
Moller Okin, Susan. 1989. Justice, Gender and the Family. New York: Basic Books.
Review: Okin, also author of Women in Western Political Thought, here is concerned with the lack of justice experienced by American women in both the public and private spheres. Lack of justice in the private sphere of gender-structured marriage leads to a lack of justice in the public sphere of the work place, the professions, and politics. Marriage makes women vulnerable due to the devaluation of human reproductive work and the persistence of a traditional division of labor within marriage. Divorce compounds the problem since it results in poverty for many women. This is a strong study of the contradictions in a democratic form of government, but Okin's recommendations lack analysis and are not fully linked to the political and economic arena.

O'Connor, Julia S, Ann Shola Orloff, and Sheila Shaver. 1999. States, Markets, Families Gender, Liberalism and Social Policy in Australia, Canada, Great Britain and the United States. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Online Review: Esping-Andersen's Three Worlds of Welfare Capitalism, published in 1990, was a landmark study that provided a theoretical and methodological shot in the arm to comparative scholarship on the welfare state. But, as feminists pointed out, his analysis paid scant attention to gender. O'Connor, Orloff, and Shaver draw upon 'mainstream' and feminist work (including their own earlier and significant scholarship) to provide an extremely well developed, sustained and interesting analysis of gender relations and social policy in four countries that represent the 'liberal' world of welfare capitalism.

The authors are interested in developing a better understanding of the relationship between 'policy liberalism' and gender - a relationship that has received little attention in the comparative literature. The tenets of liberalism of particular relevance to this study include: the presumption of the autonomy of the public and private spheres, the emphasis on legal 'personhood' and civil rather than social rights; and the priority given to meeting need through the market and/or family rather than the state. Three major policy arenas are selected that "represent some of the most significant sites of gender politics in western countries over the last three decades." First, the labour markets of the four countries are examined with reference to the characteristics of women's labour force participation and then the policies that are (or are not) in place which facilitate or inhibit women's participation in the labour market are assessed. Income maintenance is the second policy arena the authors examine, assessing the extent to which each national system generates and sustains gender inequality through the nature of social provision and the allowable bases for making claims on the state. Third, the authors explore reproductive rights in terms of the way in which the right to abortion is framed and implemented in each of the four countries. In addition, there is a chapter that considers the impact of party politics and the tenor and strategies of the women's movements on policy development.

States, Markets, Families addresses a number of interesting issues. Does the notion of a 'liberal' social policy regime hold up when gender is included? What are the gender implications of liberalism in an era of restructuring and retrenchment? What are the characters of these liberal gender regimes - how different, how similar? They conclude that the influence of the ideology of liberalism is evident in all four countries, and both the policies of governments and the directions of the women's movements do reflect an emphasis on gender sameness and a focus on individual rights. In an era of restructuring, the authors suggest, gender is particularly implicated as the criteria for services and benefits change, as the responsibility for care work is redistributed between states, markets and families, and as the internationalization of trade and production affects the quality and availability of employment.

Despite these broad similarities, there are also significant differences between the countries that matter, and this, in many ways, is the most interesting part of the book. Similarities help to establish the credibility of the liberal 'world' of welfare capitalism, but it is the discussion of differences among the countries that provides a rich analysis of the contemporary expression of liberalism as it relates to gender and social policy. Examining the differing 'policy logics' which are not always consistent or logical, the authors suggest that the United States is characterised by a considerable emphasis on the market (as a source of income and services), strong assumptions of gender sameness and a marked commitment to civil rights and a weak commitment to social rights. The emphasis on the market and gender sameness is also very evident in Canada, but it is also moderated by a greater tradition of state involvement and a greater acknowledgment of the links between labour market participation and caring responsibilities. Britain continues to emphasise the gender-differentiated 'breadwinner' model of the family, evident in both the income support system and policies related to labour market participation. The relatively strong commitment to social rights has been under threat since the 1980s, although the levels of income support continue to more effectively buffer British single mothers from poverty than those in the other countries. Australia is found to be the most distinctive of the liberal variants. Unlike any of the other countries, women are treated as independent citizens but, at the same time, caregiving responsibilities remain a basis for claims. Social rights are the most developed in Australia. The authors draw out the implications of these policy variants on class and gender equality.

This book has a number of important strengths. First, unlike much of the comparative literature, the authors have chosen to write together, rather than author separate 'country' chapters. The result is a well-developed analytic framework that produces a highly integrated and theoretically-grounded account which has taken the comparative literature an important step forward. Secondly, they have provided a much more comprehensive view of policies than is typically the case. Their inclusion of reproductive rights, for example, extends the discussion well beyond the 'traditional' boundaries of welfare state analysis and allows us to see the links/contradictions in an emphasis on the civil right to abortion without the social right to health care that allows many women to exercise the right. Third, they move beyond simply examining the nature of social provision and the quality of the claims that are recognized by the state, and include in their analysis the overall organization of benefits and services, and the patterns of gender and class stratification produced by them. Finally, they have generally struck a very good balance between providing sufficient detail so the reader can properly evaluate the argument, without a tedious and exhaustive (and exhausting) description of programs and policies. As they note in their conclusion, there is further theoretical and empirical work to be done to produce a full account of the origins of the similarities and differences in the inscriptions of gender and class in welfare regimes. This excellent study brings us considerably closer.

Patricia Evans, School of Social Work, York University

Oliver, Kelly. 1997. Family Values Subjects Between Nature and Culture. New York/London: Routledge.
This book shows how the various contradictions at the heart of Western conceptions of maternity and paternity problematize our relationships with ourselves and with others. Using philosophical texts, psychoanalytic theory, studies in biology and popular culture, Kelly Oliver challenges our traditional concepts of maternity which are associated with nature, and our conceptions of paternity which are embedded in culture. Oliver's intervention calls into question the traditional image of the oppositional relationship between nature and culture, maternal and paternal. Family Values also undercuts recent returns to the rhetoric of a "battle between the sexes" by analyzing the conceptual basis of these descriptions in biological research and the presuppositions of such suggestions in philosophy and psychoanalysis. By developing a reconception of maternity and paternity, Family Values offers hope for peace in the battle of the sexes.
Pocock, B. 2005. Mothers: the more things change the more they stay the same. In Family: Changing Families Changing Times, edited by M. Poole. Crows Nest: Allen and Unwin.
We are shaped by our early lives in our families, and in times of crisis we turn to our families for help. Yet though we seek intimacy and support from our families, they can sometimes be places of stress and violence. This book explores contemporary Australian family life, looking at new partnership patterns, the decline in fertility, changing roles for fathers, children as consumers, the ageing population and intimacy and power in family relationships. It examines the dissatisfaction many families now experience in terms of work-life balance, as parents juggle paid work and child-care responsibilities. It also considers the impact of expectations of high levels of personal fulfilment not only on family relationships but on all aspects of life.
Silva, E B , and C Smart. 1999. The New Family? London: Sage.
Online review: The interrogatory titles of these complementary books about emergent family forms in the UK signal the vexed, contested character of contemporary family discourse in many postindustrial societies. This indicates to this reviewer in the US-the international headquarters of the divisive "family values" ideology industry-how successfully the former colony has exported yet another of our dubious products. More reassuringly, the books' perceptive contents inspire hope that British scholars may prove better prepared than were their US counterparts to defend their nation's families against the more egregious effects of "pro-familist" politics. At the very least, anyone who reads these books cannot complain not to have been warned.

The New Family? and Family Fragments? share much more than one of their (eponymously named) authors, Carol Smart. Collectively they offer panoramic and close-up views of the fluid, contradictory character of contemporary intimacy and kinship. The first, an edited collection, treats diverse family ties and issues, albeit almost exclusively among white citizens. The second, a longitudinal study of the post-divorce parenting relationships of 60 formerly married or coupled heterosexuals, focuses sustained scrutiny on how they contend with the new demands imposed on parents by the Children's Act of 1989. The books' analytic frameworks apply feminist theory and ethics to critical but sympathetic readings of recent work by Anthony Giddens and Ulrich Beck and Elizabeth Beck-Gersheim on intimacy and (post)-modernity. They attempt to shift family studies away from its conventional emphasis on family structures and functions to investigating "family practices" and discourse. Both books contribute significantly to family theory, research and public policy analysis.

The New Family? achieves greater intellectual coherence than is typical of edited volumes, despite some unavoidable unevenness in the quality and style of individual chapters. David Morgan's compelling theoretical chapter on "Risk and Family Practices"elaborates a framework for analyzing the quotidian awareness of risk and the reflexive self-monitoring practices that now pervade ordinary family decision-making and talk, and he usefully encourages scholars to perceive family talk as a form of reflexive family practice. Other strong, insightful chapters treat new analytical approaches to researching children and childhood (Brannan), divorce (Smart), inventive forms of kinship forged outside of heterosexual conventions and resources (Weeks, Donovan and Heaphy; Dunne), and the dominance of "lateral" sibling and lineal ties over marital relationships among Caribbeans in the UK, the only immigrant or racially subordinate population included in the volume (Chamberlain).

Curiously, however, a few chapters, seemingly uninformed by the discursive shift to "family practices" announced by the volume's editors, continue to subject "the family" to institutional forms of analysis. Likewise, although the intellectual level of the chapters is uniformly high, too many authors belie any awareness that talk is a form of practice, for they succumb to the snares of a tedious academic style-excessively rendering abstract prose in the passive voice. This seems a pity, as it is reduces the prospects that this valuable book will influence or appeal to many readers outside the academy.

I would lay far better odds that Family Fragments? will reach beyond the world of academe to reach the broad audience of policy-makers and citizens it so richly deserves. In fact, I have no quarrel with Janet Finch's promotional blurb on the book's jacket cover which labels it "one of the most important publications on family life in the last twenty years." Few books so effectively meld theory, empirical research, political insight and wisdom, let alone communicate the blend in lucid, accessible prose. The book is firstly an exemplary contribution to the growing literature on unintended effects of public policy reforms. Determined to stem the tide of divorce and to mitigate its harmful effects on children, in 1989 Parliament enacted a Children's Act which imposed joint parenting relationships on divorced couples in order keep biological fathers actively involved in rearing and supporting their children. Smart and Neale carefully researched the consequences for members of the first cohort of parents and children to which the reform legislation was applied.

Alarmist concerns about how divorce affects children has been a flashpoint of ideological conflict and policy debate over family change, and the authors properly understand its significance as a case study of the fluidity and politics of family ties today. Their judicious analysis of post-divorce family life exposes the paradoxical costs of coercing shared parenting relationships on hostile parties. Along the way, Smart and Neale also effectively demonstrate the inadequacy of discourses on the "decline of family" and the "loss of functions" that still dominate too much family social science. They apply feminist ethics that emphasize a morals of care over one of rights to the everyday family talk and practices of parents negotiating conflicts with their former spouses over child-sharing and rearing. Here they show that many parents (primarily mothers) engage in difficult forms of moral reasoning amidst an ever-changing context, often subordinating their own desires and interests to what they believe to be "in the best interest" of their children.

Yet the state rarely bothers to take an interest in caring for the parents upon whose caretaking abilities the children depend. Because of an ideological emphasis on the biological father, many mothers and children alike have suffered unnecessary levels of emotional and physical risk. Paradoxically, because this same emphasis inhibits many mothers (and some fathers) from forming new marriages, it has inadvertently escalated the historical shift from marriage to parenthood as the central kinship tie. Thus, divorced adults and their children come to inhabit "family fragments" that remain too often linked indefinitely and unhappily across divided hearts and hearths.

Together these books expose the harmful gap between the anachronistic moralistic ideology that dominates public conversation and policies about family change and the irreversible diversity of the lives, needs, and moral reasoning of actual families on both sides of the Atlantic. Perhaps they can help to spare British families from suffering the ill effects of this chasm as sorely as we have done under the more extreme politics of family values in the US.

Judith Stacey, University of Southern California

Smart, C, and B Neale. 1999. Family Fragments? . Cambridge: Polity Press.
Online review: 'This book investigates in a most original way the moral complexities of divorce and its legal regulation under postmodernity. By analysing the moral reasoning of divorced parents in a profound and respectful manner, Smart and Neale not only demonstrate the moral competency of parents during and after divorce, they also provide us with a highly original contribution to the ongoing discussion on the ethic of care and how to investigate it. A must for everybody involved in the politics of family law, and for scholars and practitioners interested in ethics.' Selma Sevenhuijsen, Professor of Women's Studies, University of Utrecht 'A sensitive and original analysis of the way we think about family life, bringing together the ideal of Giddens, Beck and Beck Gernsheim with the words of a group of parents experiencing post-divorce parenting. The book is beautifully written and intellectually crafted - both a delight to read and a real step forward in thinking about parenting as distinct from partnership.' Dr Mavis Maclean, Centre for Socio-Legal Studies, Wolfson College, University of Oxford 'Smart and Neale have produced a book of major significance to our understanding of family relationships, especially in situations where a divorce has occurred. The book is a fine example of the best kind of sociology: clearly articulated theory, empirical data used carefully to interrogate that theory, both theory and data linked to some very practical questions about family law. The book is one of the most important publications on family life in the last twenty years.' Professor Janet Finch, Vice-Chancellor of Keele University 'Family Fragments? is a sensitive and insightful study. Smart and Neale emphasise the fluidity, diversity and ambiguity of post-divorce relationships. They treat their subjects as active, reflexive and moral social beings and emphasize the negotiation of commitments. They provide an incisive and helpful account of recent family theorizing as well as of legislative challenge.' The Times Higher Education Supplement 'This important new book treads the complex and contested terrain of parenting after divorce ... Family Fragments will be of interest to researchers across disciplines working in the field of family studies as well as parents negotiating the new discursive and legal frameworks of "family practices".' - Journal of Family Studies
Stacey, Judith. 1990. Brave New Families Stories of domestic upheaval in Late Modern Twentieth Century America. London: University of California Press.
Online review: The rose-hued nuclear family--breadwinner dad, stay-at-home mom, and two kids--held a lock on the American imagination long after it ceased to be much more than a skewed memory. Studying the paths taken by two families living in California's Silicon Valley, ethnographer Judith Stacey was struck by the ways each had reconfigured the nuclear equation. Pam Gama and Dotty Lewison had both been married homemakers raising kids, but there the similarities end. For Pam, divorce and remarriage created a network of children, an ex-spouse, and supportive friends who act as family. A self-avowed feminist whose gradual emergence into paid, sustaining work was the death knell to her first marriage, Pam saved a foundering second marriage by entering Christian counseling and renewing vows at a fundamentalist church that preached wifely submission. Dotty, despite coming from more conservative working-class stock, plunged wholeheartedly into community and feminist activism, eventually using it as a lever to first leave, and then improve, her marriage. Though the book is heavily skewed with Stacey's political sensibilities, it still digs deep to sketch the convoluted lives and contradictory philosophies of real people. First published in 1991, Brave New Families remains fresh and engaging today because it speaks to the dissonance between hard-line feminism and true-life stories. --Francesca Coltrera
Lareau, Annette, 2011, Unequal Childhoods Class, Race, and Family Life, Second Edition with an Update a Decade Later, University of California Press.
Class does make a difference in the lives and futures of American children. Drawing on in-depth observations of black and white middle-class, working-class, and poor families, Unequal Childhoods explores this fact, offering a picture of childhood today. Here are the frenetic families managing their children's hectic schedules of "leisure" activities; and here are families with plenty of time but little economic security. Lareau shows how middle-class parents, whether black or white, engage in a process of "concerted cultivation" designed to draw out children's talents and skills, while working-class and poor families rely on "the accomplishment of natural growth," in which a child's development unfolds spontaneously?as long as basic comfort, food, and shelter are provided. Each of these approaches to childrearing brings its own benefits and its own drawbacks. In identifying and analyzing differences between the two, Lareau demonstrates the power, and limits, of social class in shaping the lives of America's children. The first edition of Unequal Childhoods was an instant classic, portraying in riveting detail the unexpected ways in which social class influences parenting in white and African American families. A decade later, Annette Lareau has revisited the same families and interviewed the original subjects to examine the impact of social class in the transition to adulthood.


--- 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.

--- Summaries ---
Kittay, Eva, ed. 2002. The Subject of Care Feminist Perspectives on Dependency. New York/Oxford: Rowman and Littlefield Publishers.
All persons spend a considerable portion of their lives either as dependents or the caretakers of dependents. The fact of human dependency - a function of youth, severe illness, disability, or frail old age - marks our lives, not only as those who are cared for, but as those who engage in the work of caring. In spite of the time, energy and resources, material and emotional, social and individual, that dependency care requires, these concerns rarely enter into philosophical, legal and political discussions. The fiction of the "independent actor" obscures the centrality of dependency in our lives. The essays of this volume consider how acknowledgement of the fact of dependency changes our conceptions of law, political theory and morality, as well as our very conceptions of self. The volume's contributors develop feminist understandings of dependency, reassessing the place dependency occupies in our lives and in a just social order.
Held, Virginia. 2006. The Ethics of Care: personal, political and global. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Online Review: In The Ethics of Care, Virginia Held offers a detailed account of the ethics of care, its features and potential as a novel normative theory. The first part of the book is devoted to the definition of care ethics as a distinct theoretical approach that represents an alternative to moral theories such as Kantian ethics and utilitarianism. In contrast to these moral theories, Held argues that the ethics of care centers on personal relations and communal ties. While acknowledging the feminist roots of care ethics, Held defends it as an independent moral framework, whose broader agenda is distinguished from the feminist agenda and also from virtue-ethics. The second part of the book illustrates the import of this view on social and political matters. Held argues that the ethics of care is more promising than Kantian ethics or utilitarianism because of its central values, and the ways in which it constrains markets. Most importantly, Held raises some concerns about the limits of rights-based political discourse, and proposes that we focus on care in order to overcome such limits. Finally, she suggests that the ethics of care has a larger significance for global issues insofar as it offers an alternative characterization of international civility.

Held's account of the ethics of care starts with a list of five defining features. First, "the focus of the ethics of care is on the compelling moral salience of attending to and meeting the needs of the particular others for whom we take responsibility" (10). Second, from an epistemological perspective the ethics of care values emotions, and appreciates emotions and relational capabilities that enable morally concerned persons in actual interpersonal contexts to understand what would be best. Third, "the ethics of care rejects the view of the dominant moral theories that the more abstract the reasoning about a moral problem, the better because the more likely [to?] avoid bias and arbitrariness, the more nearly to achieve impartiality. The ethics of care respects rather than removes itself from the claims of particular others with whom we share actual relationships" (11). Fourth, the ethics of care proposes a novel conceptualization of the distinction between private and public and of their respective importance. Finally, the ethics of care adopts a relational conception of persons, which is in stark contrast to Liberal individualism.

These five features are supposed to define the ethics of care and qualify it as a better alternative to other 'dominant' theoretical approaches. But it is hard to see how. Focus on particular others is a characteristic concern of several ethical theories, including Kantian ethics. Whether Kantian ethics is well-equipped to address this concern crucially depends on how we frame the requirement of universality and impartiality. This same requirement is at stake when we evaluate the epistemological and normative contribution of emotions. For virtue-ethics epistemology, emotions are modes of discernment. In Kantian and Utilitarian ethics their role is typically confined to motivation, but it is nonetheless a rather important role. In some contemporary versions of these latter theories, emotions contribute to morality to the extent that they are not mere interferences and do not clash with the requirement of impartiality. Hence, to assess the comparative merits of the moral theories available, it is important that we understand what the requirement of impartiality actually demands.

When Held spells out the third defining feature of care ethics, she appears to attack several overlapping claims. Her polemics is directed against (i) an abstract decision procedure in ethics, (ii) the normative requirement of impartiality, (iii) the requirement of impersonality, and/or (iv) the priority of universal and general rules. Insofar it rejects the claim that ethical theory requires a complete rational decision procedure, the ethics of care finds more supporters than Held anticipates, as very few philosophers agree that ethical theory is designed to offer a complete decision procedure, and there is ample discussion about the consequences of completeness. Whether moral reasoning takes the form of a procedure or not, it requires some kind of abstraction. The issue is whether the kind of abstraction theories of moral reasoning require is conducive to moral understanding. This is certainly a deep and interesting philosophical question. Held seems to say that dominant theories deploy a kind of abstraction that is detrimental to moral understanding because it requires the denial of moral partialities. But even when abstraction is a warrant to impartiality, it does not demand that we dismiss personal relations, that we disregard particular attachments, or that we fail to attend to the needs of our particular others, as Held argues. A concern for impartiality is not equivalent to the demand for impersonality. There are cases where to grant fair treatment one must apply both the requirement of impartiality and impersonality; but this is no argument for their equivalence. More importantly, neither directly follows from the alleged abstractness of moral reasoning, and the demands of either are generally specified according to specific contexts. (For example, the requirement of impartiality imposes different demands on us in the domain of duties of rights and in the domain of duties of virtues, respectively.) As a requirement on justification, impartiality is not trivial because it imposes that differential treatment be justified on the basis of a relevant difference. But as a substantive requirement, it actually demands little, and it certainly does not demand that we ignore our beloved ones. Hence, it is hard to see exactly on which basis the ethics of care opposes impartialist moral theories. A similar concern arises as we consider the fourth feature, that is, the re-conceptualization of the distinction between the private and the public. The fifth defining feature of the ethics of care concerns the conception of persons and requires a more careful examination.

The claim is that persons are constitutively (and not only causally or developmentally) relational. Because of this basic claim, the ethics of care is certainly hospitable to the relatedness of persons, but does it represent the best theoretical framework to account for it? It is difficult to adequately judge the real promise of the ethics of care as defended by Held particularly because she does not take very seriously her (alleged) opponents. She claims that such "dominant moral theories as utilitarianism and Kantian ethics are built on the liberal model of social relations between strangers" (80). It is disputable that the liberal model of social relations takes persons to be "strangers", but let's take it for granted for the sake of the argument. In the face of recent debates, it is hard to agree with Held that this is the model on which Kantian ethics is built. Christine Korsgaard has extensively argued for the constitutive role of personal relations, and investigated the dimension of reciprocity. Barbara Herman has shown that the apparent conflict between impartiality and partiality is generated by a misunderstanding of the requirements of both. Onora O'Neill has opposed the divergence between justice and care, and called attention to the implications of abstraction and idealization. Several Kantian philosophers have insisted on the moral relevance of emotions and the intimate union of love and respect, and have made room for care and trust. Perhaps more importantly, in the last two decades there has been genuine philosophical progress regarding the role of principles for action, and the related claim that autonomy is tantamount to principled agency. It is thus fair to say that Kantians appear to share the very same concerns for the interdependence and relatedness of persons that are endorsed by the ethics of care. Thus, we can acknowledge that critics of Liberalism have succeeded in furthering the philosophical debate on these issues, and have significantly helped to refine the conceptions of autonomy. But there remains the question whether the ethics of care challenges Kantian ethics in a way that requires a change in paradigm (92), particularly because Kantians forcefully deny that universal principles endanger personal relations, or that their involvement in caring relations represents a loss in autonomy (48). The question, then, is which theory fares better in addressing such issues as our interdependence or relatedness. My worry is that Held's discussion does not help us answer this question because she does not confront recent developments in moral theory: Korsgaard does not appear in her bibliography, Herman is only cited, Stephen Darwall's most systematic proposal of integration of care and respect is quickly dismissed as suggesting a mere juxtaposition of the two concepts (16). This lack of dialogue is unfortunate because it deprives the reader of the grounds for an adequate assessment of both care ethics and Kantian ethics. But it also significantly weakens Held's own argument against Liberalism in Chapters 5 and 6, and in the second part of the book, to the extent that it represents Liberalism as being based on assumptions that Kantian liberals openly reject or do not need to accept.

Contrary to some other supporters of care ethics, Held does not intend to replace justice with care. How exactly she sees them to be integrated, however, remains highly problematic. At times Held suggests that they pertain to different domains, and that they should be allowed priority in their respective spheres of competence (17). At other times, she claims that care may "provide the wider and deeper ethics within which justice should be sought" (17), questions the priority of justice (21, 79), and argues for the priority of care (133). The alleged priority of care is advocated as both a normative and empirical claim, and it is seen to work as the 'presumption' that caring relations are characterized by values such as trust and mutual consideration (133-135). But then Held admits that "the ethics of care may not itself provide adequate theoretical resources for dealing with issues of justice" (17). This uncertainty in relating justice and care and their domains of competence reveals a tension between, on the one hand, the claim that the ethics of care may be accorded priority or at least offer a wider normative network for justice and rights-based discourse, and, on the other hand, the less ambitious claim that they each have their own niche. This calls for a more precise definition of both concepts. Held treats care as both a practice and a value (29-43), and this provisional definition works well as Held tries to draw attention to personal caring relations. While this is an interesting starting point for rethinking the domain of justice, it is hard to figure out how it generates a wider theoretical framework. On the one hand, to treat care as a practice may be too demanding because it requires that the agent be personally engaged in, responsive and attentive to an unsustainable web of interactive relations. On the other hand, if care is treated as a background value that should inform personal relations, it can be accommodated within impartialist moral theories.

The need for a neat definition of the concept of care and its distinctive domain of competence becomes particularly urgent as Held accounts for social issues in the second part of the book. In Chapter 9, Held rehearses the feminist argument for the re-conceptualization of rights. I think she is quite correct that the traditional language of rights may not be the best way to fully account for personal relations. This criticism may be welcomed as the challenging but constructive suggestion that we reformulate the language of rights, as Martha Minow has shown, but it does not necessitate any drastic change in paradigm, nor does it seem to differ in any relevant way from the feminist critique of rights-based discourse. A similar reaction is elicited by Held's approach to global issues in Chapter 9, where she heavily relies on the feminist critique of gendered international political discourse and opposes the liberal approach for its exclusive focus on justice and freedom from interference. The ethics of care is seen to have a distinctive import because it is well equipped to understand cultural and social ties; thus, it gives priority to "positive involvement with others and fosters social bonds and cooperation" (157). But this remark hardly amounts to an argument for care ethics.

In Chapter 7, Held deals with the moral limits of the market, and her argument here is especially interesting and thought-provoking. She draws attention to caring labor, and shows that it escapes in many ways the traditional categories that are appropriate for the market. This is because labor markets as traditionally understood are fundamentally very different from caring labor markets. Held's examination of these differences is subtle and very interesting, but she does not succeed in establishing that the ethics of care is the only or the most appropriate way to account for them. To accommodate these differences in kind, it seems enough to argue that there are many and mutually irreducible modes of valuing, besides assigning a market price, as Elizabeth Anderson has argued.

While the question as to whether the care approach is preferable to others remains open, another looms in the background: is the ethics of care an autonomous 'moral theory'? If the task is to redefine the boundaries of the moral domain, and refocus philosophical attention on neglected issues, Held's argument is successful. While it does little to sketch an alternative moral epistemology and lacks dialogical character, the book is very rich in quotations, and maps in significant detail current positions within care ethics. But as an attempt to place the ethics of care on the same footing as other moral theories, Held's argument fails to show that the defining concerns of care ethics cannot be adequately addressed by other theories. As an independent theoretical approach, the ethics of care is not yet justified.

Hollway, Wendy. 2006. The Capacity to Care Gender and Ethical Subjectivity. London/New York: Routledge.
Wendy Hollway explores a subject that is largely absent from the topical literature on care. Humans are not born with a capacity to care, and this volume explores how this capacity is achieved through the experiences of primary care, gender development and later, parenting. In this book, the author addresses the assumption that the capacity to care is innate. She argues that key processes in the early development of bvabies and young children create the capability for individuals to care, with a focus on the role of intersubjective experience and parent-child relations. The Capacity to Care also explores the controversial belief that women are better at caring than men and questions whether this is likely to change with contemporary shifts in parenting and gender relations. Similarly, the sensitive domain of the quality of care and how to consider whether care has broken down are also debated, alongside a consideration of what constitutes a 'good enough' family. The Capacity to Care provides a unique theorization of the nature of selfhood, drawing on developmental and object relations psychoanalysis, as well as philosophical and feminist literatures. It will be of relevance to social scientists studying gender development, gender relations and the family, as well as those interested in the ethics of care debate.
Kittay Feder, Eva. 1999. Love's Labor Essays on Women, Equality and Dependency. N.Y.: Routledge.
Online Review: Both theoretically and practically, this is a profound work of philosophy. Kittay cogently argues that any conception of justice must explicitly attend to the particular situations of dependent people and those who care for them. Her critical analyses of major theories of justice and her proposals for principles guided by the requirements of dependency work constitute a major breakthrough for political theory. Kittay's arguments and narratives should provoke serious reorientation of moral principles for social policy. - Iris Young, author of Intersecting Voices: Dilemmas of Gender, Political Philosophy, and Policy.
Sevenhuijsen, Selma. 1998. Citizenship and the Ethics of Care Feminist considerations on justice, morality and politics. London and New York: Routledge.
Care and women's emancipation have often been seen as opposed. What emancipation should mean for the world of care has always received little attention. Recently, however, the whole subject has been brought into the political arena with new reforms of the welfare state, health care policies and family law. Politicians have begun to look for new ways to appreciate care as a meaningful activity and a moral perspective. In this context, Selma Sevenhuijsen argues for a revaluation of care from a feminist perspective. She proposes a new political concept of an ethics of care that will integrate themes from feminist ethics and gender in concrete examples taken from the practice and discourse of care, those found in parental rights issues, health care education, the family and in the public health sector.
West, Robin. 2002. The Right to Care. In The Subject of Care Feminist Perspectives on Dependency, edited by E. K. F. Eva Feder Kittay. Landham: Rowman and Littlefield.
All persons spend a considerable portion of their lives either as dependents or the caretakers of dependents. The fact of human dependency - a function of youth, severe illness, disability, or frail old age - marks our lives, not only as those who are cared for, but as those who engage in the work of caring. In spite of the time, energy and resources, material and emotional, social and individual, that dependency care requires, these concerns rarely enter into philosophical, legal and political discussions. The fiction of the "indpendent actor" obscures the centrality of dependency in our lives. The essays of this volume consider how acknowledgement of the fact of dependency changes our conceptions of law, political theory and morality, as well as our very conceptions of self. The volume's contributors develop feminist understandings of dependency, reassessing the place dependency occupies in our lives and in a just social order.


--- 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.

--- Summaries ---
Fineman, M. 2004. The Autonomy Myth A Theory of Dependency. New York, London: The New York Press.
In this paradign-shifting and controversial book, renowned legal theorist Martha Albertson Fineman argues that American policy makers' overemphasis on the ideals of self-sufficiency and autonomy has negatively affected government policy related to the care of the young, the elderly, and the infirm. The Autonomy Myth makes the compelling case that the sexually-affiliated couple is not the appropriate building block for contemporary families. Instead, Fienman argues, society should be organized around caretaking relationships, particularly those involving children or elderly dependents.
Bravo, Ellen. 2007. Taking on the Big Boys or Why Feminism is Good for Families, Business, Nation. NY: Feminist Press.
Enough about breaking the glass ceiling. Here are blueprints for a redesign of the entire building, ground up, to benefit women and men - and even the bottom line. Ellen Bravo relates stories from business and government and women's testimonies from offices, assembly lines, hospitals, and schools. She unmasks the patronizing, trivializing, and minimizing tactics employed by 'the big boys' and their surrogates. Bravo argues for feminism as a system of beliefs, laws, and practices that fully values women and the work associated with women. She spells out activist strategeis to achieve income equity, family leave, overtime, and univesrsal health insurance, which will allow everybody - women and men - to reach their potential.
Fraser, N. 1997. Justice Interruptus Critical Reflections on the 'Postsocialist' Condition. N.Y.: Routledge.
Online Review: What does it mean to think critically about politics at a time when inequality is increasing worldwide, when struggles for the recognition of difference are eclipsing struggles for social equality, and when we lack any credible vision of an alternative to the present order? Philosopher Nancy Fraser claims that the key is to overcome the false oppositions of "postsocialist" commonsense. Refuting the view that we must choose between "the politics of recognition" and the "politics of redistribution," Fraser argues for an integrative approach that encompasses the best aspects of both.
Landes, Joan ed. 1998. Feminism, the Public and the Private. New York: Oxford University Press.
This is an excellent volume in the Oxford Readings in Feminism series. It presents the results of the multi-disciplinary feminist exploration of the distinction between public and private. Contributors demonstrate the significance of the distinction in feminist theory, its articulation in the modern and late modern public sphere, and its impact on identity politics within feminism in recent years. Feminism, the Public and the Private offers an essential perspective on feminist theory for students and teachers of women's and gender studies, cultural studies, history, political theory, geography and sociology.

Lister, Ruth. 2003. Citizenship: feminist perspectives. Second Edition. New York: New York University Press.
Online Review: Ruth Lister's book represents an ambitious endeavour to explore issues and concepts of citizenship from a feminist viewpoint. Her particular feminist perspective is concerned with the ways in which women are socially included and excluded from public and private spheres of life, by differing ideas about what constitutes political involvement, and within or between nation states. Her analysis is also strongly anchored within a social policy context. At the same time, she does not attempt to evade or ignore more theoretically framed issues about citizenship. Thus Lister's book goes well beyond the arid theoretical debates which have often characterised malestream academic discussions of citizenship.

Concepts of citizenship have been critiqued by a number of feminists - Pateman, Walby, Richardson, Arnot - for their failure to engage with or to include women, and for their omission of lesbian and gay sexuality. However there remain two problems with developing more women-sensitive notions of citizenship. The first problem is whether it is possible to rescue the concept at all if its history has been so male-centred. Lister debates this but concludes that it is both possible and worthwhile. She suggests that if citizenship is conceived of as involving both structure and agency (this is definitely not a book for the post structuralists), as including both statuses and practices and as comprising social and political elements, then citizenship is worth rescuing. She argues that this is especially the case if at the same time some of the other binaries (eg the ethic of justice/equality versus the ethic of care, or public versus private or independence versus interdependence) which have often dominated academic debates about citizenship, can be blurred or dissolved. The second problem about developing more women-sensitive concepts of citizenship is concerned with the extent to which the category of women is any longer a legitimate one to use. Here Lister is quick to point out that she does not wish to talk about women and citizenship as though women were an undifferentiated category. Nevertheless, she argues fairly persuasively that by using a conception of differential universalism, it is possible to pay attention to differences between women whilst at the same time acknowledging their differences. Thus, in a powerful chapter on inclusion, exclusion and nation states, she notes that different groups of women have differential relationships to nation states in respect of citizenship. For example, migrants workers and political refugees are regarded quite differently by a so-called host country as compared with women who were born in that same country. However, in this chapter, and elsewhere in the book, Lister contends that it would be possible to develop frameworks which take account of both the needs and rights of particular women and the needs and rights of women in general. Similarly, her analysis of the public/private dimensions of citizenship suggests that we should not assume, as have some malestream theorists, that the private sphere is irrelevant to citizenship. Instead, we need to use both Plummer's notion of intimate citizenship and to regard time used in the private sphere as a resource which may or may not facilitate citizenship, in such ways that gendered domestic divisions of labour come to be seen as a matter for public as well as private concern. There is also a powerful analysis of how women's participation in voluntary organisations, pressure groups and in more informal groupings should be seen as political acts of citizenship in the same way as activity in a political party or public body.

The most disappointing aspect of Lister's book is that, whilst paying attention to the importance of a social policy framing of concepts of citizenship, Lister largely excludes education from her analysis altogether and neither sees this as an important arena for reshaping and learning about new forms of citizenship nor as a place for exercising citizenship (as for example, in school governorship or via a pressure group for mothers of children with severe learning difficulties). In every other respect, Lister's book is a remarkable piece of work, which is both scholarly and at the same time pays full regard to the lives of women in all their differences. It is also, in many respects, a truly interdisciplinary analysis, a practical application of the capacity of feminisms and feminists to move beyond binaries and rigid boundaries.

Rosemary Deem, Lancaster University

Lloyd, Genevieve. 1984. The man of reason: 'male' and 'female' in Western philosophy. London: Methuen.
Online Review: One of the classic papers of Australian feminist philosophy. The main concern of this paper is the alleged maleness of the Man of Reason, i.e., the thesis that our philosophical tradition in some deep way associates the concepts rational and male. Lloyd claims that her main goal is to bring this "undoubted" thesis "into clearer focus" (p.18), and indeed she makes no strenuous effort to demonstrate that the to-be-clarified thesis is actually true. There are however a few places where she advances material she seems to be taking as some kind of evidence that the Man of Reason is male. One is on the second page, where she quotes from Augustine: And finally we see man, made in your image and likeness, ruling over all the irrational animals for the very reason that he was made in your image and resembles you, that is because he has the power of reason and understanding. And just as in man's soul there are two forces; on which is dominant because it deliberates and one which obeys because it is subject to such guidance, in the same way in the physical sense, woman has been made for man. In her mind and her rational intelligence she has a nature the equal of man's, but in sex she is physically subject to him in the same way as our natural impulses need to be subjected to the reasoning power of the mind, in order that the actions to which they lead may be inspired by the principles of good conduct. Now an interesting feature of this passage is that it appears to directly contradict the thesis of the maleness of the Man of Reason. Far from saying that rationality is a male prerogative, Augustine claims that "in her mind and her rational intelligence she has a nature the equal of man's" (my emphasis). Certainly Augustine claims that in sex woman is subject to man, and he also claims that there is an analogy or parallel between the dominance of man over woman in sex and the dominance of the rational part of the mind over the natural impulses.
Segal, Lynne. 1999. Why Feminism? Gender, Psychology and Politics. New York: Columbia University Press.
Online Review: 'Lynne Segal is one of the most capacious readers of feminism and sexuality studies I have ever encountered. Rooted in a socialist feminism and open to new theory, she brings forward the best of the former tradition and sets it into a dynamic and provocative dialogue with contemporary scholarship and activism, including psychoanalysis in both its social and clinical dimensions. Her writing is marvellously clear, to the point, and trenchant. And she brings us all into a critical conversation that we sometimes did not know we could have. The passion, intelligence, and intellectual candour of this book are exemplary.' Judith Butler, Maxine Elliot Professor of Rhetoric and Comparative Literature, University of California at Berkeley

Seidman, Steven, Nancy Fischer, and Chet Meeks, eds. 2006. Introducing the New Sexuality Studies Original Essays and Interviews. London/New York: Routledge.
Online Review: Breaking new ground, both substantively and stylistically, this book offers students, academics and researchers an accessible, engaging introduction and overview of this emerging field. Its central premise is to explore the social character of sexuality, the role of social differences such as race or nationality in creating sexual variation, and the ways sex is entangled in relations of power and inequality. Through this novel approach the field of sexuality is therefore considered, for the first time, in multicultural, global, and comparative terms and from a truly social perspective. This important volume consists of over fifty short and original essays on the key topics and themes in sexuality studies and interviews with twelve leading scholars in the field which convey some of the most innovative work being done. Each contribution is original and conveys the latest thinking and research in writing that is clear and that uses examples to illustrate key points. This topical and timely volume will be an invaluable resource to all those with an interest in sexuality studies.
Pateman, Carol. 1988. The Sexual Contract. Cambridge: Polity Press.
Online Review: In this remarkably original work of political philosophy, one of today's foremost feminist theorist challenges the way contemporary society functions by questioning the standard interpretation of an idea that is deeply embedded in American and British political thought: that our rights and freedoms derive from the social contract explicated by Locke, Hobbes, and Rousseau and interpreted in the United States by the Founding Fathers. The author shows how we are told only half the story of the original contract that establishes modern patriarchy. The sexual contract is ignored and thus men's patriarchal right over women is also glossed over. No attention is paid to the problems that arise when women are excluded from the original contract but incorporated into the new contractual order.

One of the main targets of the book is those who try to turn contractarian theory to progressive use, and a major thesis of the book is that this is not possible. Thus those feminists who have looked to a more "proper" contract- one between genuinely equal partners, or one entered into without any coercion- are misleading themselves. In the author's words, "In contract theory universal freedom is always a hypothesis, a story, a political fiction. Contract always generates political right in the forms of domination and subordination." Thus the book is also aimed at mainstream political theorists, and socialist and other critics of contract theory. The author offers a sweeping challenge to conventional understandings- of both left and right- of actual contracts in everyday life: the marriage contract, the employment contract, the prostitution contract, and the new surrogate mother contract. By bringing a feminist perspective to bear on the contradictions and paradoxes surrounding women and contract, and the relation between the sexes, she is able to shed new light on fundamental political problems of freedom and subordination.

Shildrick, M. 1997. Leaky Bodies and Boundaries Feminism, Postmodernism & (bio) Ethics. N.Y.: Routledge.
Online Review: Drawing on postmodernist analyses, Leaky Bodies and Boundaries presents a feminist investigation into the marginalization of women within western discourse that denies female moral agency and embodiment. With reference to contemporary and historical issues in biomedicine, the book argues that the boundaries of both the subject and the body are no longer secure. The aim is both to valorise women and to suggest that 'leakiness' may be the very ground for a postmodern feminist ethic. The contribution made by Leaky Bodies and Boundaries is to go beyond modernist feminisms to radically displace the mechanisms by which women are devalued. The anxiety that postmodernism cannot yield an ethics, nor advance feminist concerns is addressed. This book will provide invaluable reading for those studying feminist philosophy, cultural studies and sociology.

Thornton, Margaret. 1995. Public and Private: feminist legal debates. Melbourne: Oxford University Press.
Google Books: This pathbreaking book examines the experiences of women in the legal profession in Australia. Based on interviews with more than 100 women lawyers, it sets out to explain why simply "letting in" more women to public life does not necessarily change the masculine culture of the profession. This book includes contributions from Australia's leading feminist legal scholars and addresses the notion that there is a separation between public and private life. Although it is a myth that the line of demarcation between public and private was ever fixed, the relationship between the two spheres has become increasingly ambiguous. The trends towards state intervention in private life, on the one hand, and privatisation of heretofore public processes, such as wage-fixing and dispute resolution, on the other hand, have accentuated the emergence of fault lines. The authors consider the pros and cons of the changing visibility/invisibility dualisms that correspond with public and private in regard to a range of issues that significantly impact on women's lives, including sexuality, the family, work, violence, and participation in public life.
Weeks, Kathi. 1998. Constituting Feminist Subjects. Ithaca, London: Cornell Uni. Press.
Online Review: "Kathi Weeks takes a basic insight--modernist and postmodernist thought are not one thing, they are complex fields with multiple and jostling threads running through them--and she proceeds to follow up and disentangle those threads that are important for feminism. I really loved reading this book. It is both critical and appreciative. It is truly written in what I would call a feminist spirit."--Kathy Ferguson, University of Hawaii Kathi Weeks suggests that one of the most important tasks for contemporary feminist theory is to develop theories of the subject that are adequate to feminist politics. Although the 1980s modernist-postmodernist debate put the problem of feminist subjectivity on the agenda, Weeks contends that limited debate now blocks the further development of feminist theory. Both modernists and postmodernists succeeded in making clear the problems of an already constituted, essentialist subject. What remains as an ongoing project, Weeks contends, is creating a theory of the constitution of subjects to account for the processes of social construction. This book presents one such account. Drawing on a number of different theoretical frameworks, including feminist standpoint theory, socialist feminism, and poststructuralist thought, as well as theories of performativity and self-valorization, the author proposes a nonessentialist feminist subject, a theory of constituting subjects.
O'Reilly, Andrea (ed), 2007, Maternal Theory - Essential Readings, Demeter Press: Toronto.
Theory on mothers, mothering and motherhood has emerged as a distinct body of knowledge within Motherhood Studies and feminist theory more generally. This collection, the first ever anthology on maternal theory, introduces readers to this rich and diverse tradition. composed of 50 chapters and covering more than three decdes of scholarship, Maternal Theory includes all the "must read" theorists on motherhood. Writers include: Adrienne Rich, Nancy Chodorow, Sara Ruddick, Alice Walker, Barbara Katz Rothman, bell hooks, Sharon Hays, Patricia Hill Collins, Julia Kristeva, Kim Anderson, Audre Lorde, Ellen Lewin, Daphne de Marneffe, Ariel Gore, Ann Crittenden, Judith Warner and many more. Maternal Theory is essential reading for anyone interested in the topic of motherhood as experience, ideology and identity.


--- My Articles ---

----- I apologise for any inconvenience but "My Articles" are not available at this time.

--- Mothering - Motherhood ---

There are vast materials on the experience of 'being a mother' though this breadth 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. Here below is a sample from within this ever increasing genre.

--- Summaries ---
Fox, Faulkner. 2003. Dispatches from a non-so-perfect life or How I learned to love the house, the man, the child. New York: Harmony Books.
Dispatches from a non-so perfect life is a provactive, brutally honest, and often hilarious memoir of motherhood. Faulkner expores the causes of her unhappiness, as well as the societal and cultural forces that American mothers have to contend with. From the time of her first pregnancy, Faulkner found herself - and her body - scrutinized by doctors, feriends, strangers, and, perhaps most of all, herself. In addition to the significant social pressures of raising ther perfect child and being the perfect mom, Faulkener also found herself increasingly incensed by the unequal distribution of household labor and infuriated by the gender inequity in both her home and others'. And though she loves her children and her husband passionately, is thankful for heer bountiful middle-class life, and feels wracked with guilt for being unhappy, she just can't seem to experience the sense of satisfaction that she thought would come with the package. She's finally got it all - the husband, the house, the kids, an interesting part-time job, even a few hours a week to write - so why does she feel so conflicted? Faulkner shelds light on the fear, confusion, and isolation experienced by many new mothers, mapping the terrain of contemporary domesticity, marriage, and motherhood in a voice that is candid, irreverent, and deeply personal, while always chronicling the unparallelled joy she and other mothers take in their children.

Buchanan, Andrea J., and Amy Hudock, eds. 2006. Literary Mama Reading for the Maternally Inclined. Emeryville U.S.A.: Seal Press.
For mothers who write or aspire to, who find meaning and humor in the demanding but wondrous daily experience of raising children, and who value the sharing of these varied experiences, comes a wonderully rich compendium by mothers who write - the lively, refined, honest, and witty Literary Mama. This unique collection features the best of, a site devoted to mama-centric writing with fresh voices, superior craft, and vivid imagery. While the majority of literature on parenting is neither literary nor written by mothers, this book is both. Wether writing about the expectations that come along with being a parent, the feelings of both pride and loss inherent in watching a child grow up, or the hectic balancing act of mothering and maintaining a creative life, these wrriters speak to the unending adventure of being a mother. Including creative nonfiction, fiction, and poetry, Literary Mama celebrates the voices of the maternally inclined, paves the way for other writers mamas, and honors the cifficult and rewarding work women do as they move into motherhood.
Kennedy, Patricia (ed), 2004, Motherhood in Ireland: creation and context, Mercier Press, Cork.
Good motehrs, bad mothers, birth mothers, adoptive mothers, mothers who leave, mothers who stay, mothers who breastfeed and mothers who don't, mothers who work outside the home, mothers who live, die and nurture, mothers who commit crimes, mothers of different ability, race and culture. The body of work collected here presents the essence of motherhood in Ireland in all its various forms, in relation to both the experience and the institution of motherhood. The first two sections of the book concentrate on creation, in the physiological sense (childbirth, infant-feeding, infertility, maternal mortality) and in the literary sense (treatment/symbolism of motherhood in Irish literature, both in English and in Gaelic, and in the visual arts). The third section presents the context in which motherhood unfolds.
Dunlop, Rishma (ed), 2007, White Ink - Poems on Mothers and Motherhood, Demeter Press: Toronto.
This book is the anthology I would like to make required reading for all those who will grow up to be women, and for all those who would wish to understand the world from a woman's point of view. White Ink includes poems about every conceivable aspect of women's lives - love for men and for women, relationships with mothers and fathers and children, birth and miscariage and abortion and adoption, death of children, death of parents, being a mother and being a daughter, coming of age and aging - as well as poems about living with war, racism, exile, injustice. the poets in this anthology - men as well as women - range from the very well known (such as Anne Sexton, Adrienne Rich, and Allen Ginsberg) to the far less known, and represent a vast cross section of styles, from the traditional to the highly experimental. White Ink shapes a motherland and populates it, colours it in, sings it with depth and passion and clarity. Come to these pages at any moment of joy or sorrow, rubble or dream, and find yourself at home.
Blades, Joan, and Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner. 2006. The Motherhood Manifesto What America's Moms Want - and What to do About It. New York: Nation Books.
This book shares the heartfelt stories of mothers in America who dream of jobs with flexibility and benefits, mothers who can't afford their children's health and childcare expenses, mothers who are time and time again penalized for raising a new generation. From professional women who hit the maternal wall, to childcare workers who can't afford quality care for their own children, this book captures what it means to be a mother in America today. This groundbreaking book also celebrates the successes of companies that have discoverd the value of good family policies, families who are making it work, model childcare programs, and legislation that supports families.

Chesler, Phyllis. 1998. With Child a diary of motherhood. New York: Four Walls Eight Windows.
With Child is more than just a book to me. It is a very personal account of the beginning of my life. It carries me to pasts that I could never have seen on my own and allows me to udnerstand my mother in a much deeper way. I am able to see her not just in relation to me, but as her own person. A book written for me and about my origins is the most welcoming gift that I could have received from my mother upon enterign this world. This diary is not fiction but a fierce reality. It charts the time of my mother's pregnancy, my own birth, and our relationship, which began long before I was conceived and will last until forever. I am the fetus, the growing clump of cells, the newborn baby in every line of this book and have been given insight into the reality of my creation and into all mothers' histories. With child is not just important for women or young mothers to read, but I think that all adult children can learn from this book. It can help them to see the importance of strong bonds with their own mothers. It has shown me the beauty of that bond and the real reasons that we all should deeply respect our mothers.
Richards, Amy, 2008, Opting In Having a child without losing yourself, Farrar Straus and Giroux: New York
For today's women, motherhood has become as polarizing a proposition as it is a powerful calling. For some women this tension is manifest in a debate over whether or not to have children. For others it concerns whether to stay at home with their kids or stay in the workforce. Still others feel abandoned altogether by feminism and are at a loss when it comes to reconcilling their maternal instincts with their political beliefs. with Opting In, Amy Richards addresses women's anxieties over parenting in a book that mixes memoir, interviews, historical analysis, and feminist insight. In her refreshingly direct and thoughtful approach, Richards covers everything from the truth about our biological clocks and the trend toward extending fertility, to parenting with nature and nurturing in mind, to our relationships with our own mothers, to what feminism's relationship to motherhood is and always has been. speaking from the vantage point of someone who is both a parent and one of our leading feminists, Richards cuts through the cacophony of voices intent on telling women the "appropriate" way to be a mother and reveals instead how to confidently forge your own path by staying true to your instincts and trusting that the answers you seek are often already within you.
Chodorow, Nancy. 1978. The Reproduction of Mothering: psychoanalysis and sociology of gender. Berkeley: University of California Press.
"The Reproduction of Mothering was that rare book that had a major impact on two different constituencies: feminists and psychoanalysts. It was a must-read in 1978, putting object-relations theory on the map in the United States, and it remains a must-read today. It continues to shape the thinking of analysts and feminists today, and it is one of the key texts available that links psyche and culture, psychoanalysis and sociology." - Ethel Spector Person, M.D., author of The Sexual Century "The book that created a Copernican Revolution in gender theory. . . . From literature to political science, from disciples to critics, no feminist theory has been untouched by Chodorow's bold and brilliant reconfiguration."--Susan Bordo, author of Unbearable Weight and The Male Body
Crittenden, Ann. 2001. The Price of Motherhood: Why the most important job in the world is still the least valued. New York: Metropolitan Books.
In the path breaking tradition of Backlash and The Second Shift, this provacative book shows how mothers are systematically disadvantaged and made dependent by a society that exploits those who perform its most critical work. Drawing on hundreds of interviews and the most current research in economics, history, child development, and family law, Ann Crittenden proves that although women have been liberated, mothers have not. The costs of motherhood are everywhere apparent:college-educated women pay a "mommy tax" of over a million dollars in lost income when they have a child; mothers are legally deprived of financial equality in marriage; and at-home mothers and their work are left out of the GDP, labor force, and social safety net. With passion and clarity, Crittenden demonstrates that proper reward for mothers' essential contributions would profoundly enhance the general welfare. Bold, galvanzing, full of innovative solutions, The Price of Motherhood ovvers a much-needed accounting of the penalties that mothers pay for performing the most important job in the world.

Di Quinzio, Patrice. 1999. The impossibility of motherhood: feminism, individualism and the problem of motherhood. London, New York: Routledge.
An adequate analysis of experiences and situations specific to women, especially mothering, requires consideration of women's difference. A focus on women's difference, however, jeopardizes feminism's claims of women's equal individualist subjectivity, and risks recuperating the inequality and prpression of women, especially the view that all women should be mothers, want to be mothers, and are most happy being mothers. This book considers how thinkers including Simone de Beauvoir, Julia Kristeva, Nancy Choderow and Adrienne Rich struggle to negotiate this dilemma of difference in analyzing mothering, encompassing the paradoxes concerning embodiment, gender and representation they encounter. Patrice DiQuinzio shows that mothering has been and will continue to be an intractable problem for feminist theory, and argues for a reconceptualization of feminist theory itself, and suggests the political usefulness of an explicitly paradoxical politics of mothering.
Doucet, Andrea. 2006. Do Men Mother? Fathering, Care & Domestic Responsibility. Uni.Toronto Press.
For a variety of reasons, more and more fathers are deciding to stay at hoem and care for their children rather than work full-time outside of the home. In addition, an increasing number of Canadian families are led by single fathers. In Do Men Mother? Andrea Doucet looks at the experiences of stay-at-home dads and signel fathers and explores these fathers' impact on family life in Canada in recent years. Using evidence tathered in a four year in-depth qualitative study, including interviews with over one hundred fathers - from truck drivers to insurance salesmen, physicians to artists - Dorcet illustrates how men are breaking the mould of traditional parenting models. Her research examines key questions such as: What leads fathers to trade earning for caring? How do fathers navigate through the 'maternal worlds' of mothers and infants? Are men mothering or are they redefining fatherhood? This book illuinates fathers' candid reflections on caring and the intricate social worlds that men and women inhabit as they 'love and let go' of their children. In asking and unravelling the question 'Do men mother?' this study tells a compelling story about Canadian parents radically re-envisioning child care and domestic responsibilities at the beginning of the twenty-first century.
Garey, Anita. 1999. Weaving work and motherhood. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.
In American culture, the image of balancing work and family life is most often represented in the glossy shot of the executive-track woman balancing cell-phone, laptop, and baby. In Weaving Work and Motherhood, Anita Ilta Garey focuses not on the corporate executives so frequently represented in American ads and magazines but, rather, on the women in jobs that typify the vast majority of women's employment in the United States. A sociologist, work, and family expert, Garey situates her research in the health service industry. Interviewing a racially and ethnically diverse group of women hospital workers clerical workers, janitorial workers, nurses, and nurse's aids Garey analyzes what it means to be at once a mother who is employed and a worker with children.Within the limits of the resources available to them, women integrate their identities as workers and their identities as mothers by valuing their relation to work while simultaneously preserving cultural norms about what it means to be a good mother. Some of these women work non-day shifts in order to have the right blocks of time at home, including, for example, a registered nurse who explains how working the night shift enables her to see her children off to school, greet them when they return, and attend school events in the way she feels 'good mothers' should - even if she finds little time for sleep. Moving beyond studies of women, work, and family in terms of structural incompatibilities, Garey challenges images of the exclusively 'work-oriented' or exclusively 'family-oriented' mother.As women talk about their lives, Garey focuses on the meanings of motherhood and of work that underlie their strategies for integrating employment and motherhood. She replaces notions of how women 'balance' work and family with a better understanding of how women integrate, negotiate, and weave together their identities as both workers and mothers. Breaking new ground in the study of work and family, "Weaving Work and Motherhood" offers new insights for those interested in sociology, gender and women's studies, social policy, child care, social welfare, and health care. Author note: Anita Ilta Garey, Assistant Professor of Family Studies at the University of Connecticut, is co-editor of "Families in the U.S.: Kinship and Domestic Politics", also published by Temple.
Gore, Ariel. 2000. The Mother Trip: Hip Mama's Survival Guide to Staying Sane in the Chaos of Motherhood. San Francisco: Seal Press.
The Mother Trip brings together anecdotes, kick-ass humour and battler wisdom from the mama who put the 'fun' back in 'dysfunctional'. Sure, parenting involves chaos, but Ariel gore points out that chaos isn't all bad. To get your head around it, she advocates, forget the phoney images of family perfection served up in ads for laundry detergent, throw away your iron, and get in touch with your couch. We're worth the same attention we give to our kids.

Hanigsberg, Julia E., and Sara Ruddick, eds. 1999. Mother Troubles Rethinking contemporary maternal dilemmas. Boston: Beacon Press.
"This is a marvelous collection, diverse in its range of topics and perspectives, rich in the depth of its authors' reflections, and unified by its determination to speak on behalf of mothers assailed by government policies, social institutions and a culture of mother blaming. The complexities and difficulties of mothers' work are revealed through discussions of issues such as mothering children with 'special needs', pregnant drug use, child care, parental refusal of medical treatment, teenage pregnancy, divorce, immigration, lesbian co-mothering, adoption, and the influence of religious thinking. By breaking silences, countering evasions and challenging edicts, these essays open the way for more direct, compassionate, respectful and constructive responses to the dilemmas facing families and mothers." Alison Jaggar, author of Feminist Politics and Human Nature and Living with Contradictions.
Hays, Sharon. 1996. The Cultural Contradictions of Motherhood. New Haven/London: Yale University Press.
A lucid, probing examination of our culture's contradictory and troubled relationship to motherhood--and how it affects mothers. Hays (Sociology and Women's Studies/Univ. of Virginia) interviewed 38 mothers from various class backgrounds. Some stayed at home, some worked; all had young children. She found that all, despite their differences, subscribed to what Hays calls the ``ideology of intensive mothering''--the belief that mothers (not fathers) should spend an enormous amount of time, physical and emotional energy, and money raising children. She critically examines the advice of three best-selling authors of books on child-rearing--T. Berry Brazelton, Benjamin Spock, and Penelope Leach--and finds that they have adopted the ideology as well. Hays provides some helpful social context, convincingly demonstrating that no one idea about mothers and children is inherently ``natural.'' In the past, she points out, children have been expendable or even demonized as bearers of original sin, not worthy of much time or emotional energy, while even today, in many cultures, raising children is the responsibility of several women and older children, not just the birth mother. Hays points out that the ideology is problematic because it perpetuates a ``double shift'' life for working women, as well as the assumption that men are incompetent at parenting and superior in the professional world--which encourages the subordination of women. It also places mothers in constant conflict with the rest of society's ostensible priorities--wealth and individual fulfillment. But she also argues perceptively that part of the reason the ideology is successful and necessary is that in placing a high value on love and self- sacrifice, it offers an alternative to selfish, materialistic market values. A thoughtful analysis of the paradoxes that surround mothering. Hays is sensitive to the emotional issues involved--and equally astute in perceiving their sociopolitical context. -- Copyright 1996, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition
Hollway, Wendy, and Brid Featherstone, eds. 1997. Mothering and Ambivalence. London/New York: Routledge.
Children's rights, lone motherhood and the breakdown of families are all issues at the forefront of current social debate in the West, with little agreement on what constitutes good parenting, or how the needs of both mother and child are best met. The feminist contribution to this debate is particularly important in keeping in view the diverse identities of all those who provide mothering. The psychoanalytic contribution is often undervalued and misunderstood. Mothering and Ambivalence brings together authors from therapeutic, academic and social work backgrounds to discuss dependency, anxiety and gender relations within families. Drawing on extensive professional experience the contributors combine a psychoanalytic and feminist approach to mothering which transcends the polarized and simplistic political debate about women's and children's needs. They also show how such an approach can inform and improve professional practice.

Lazarre, Jane. 1987. The Mother Knot. London: Virago Press.
In this honest and moving book Jane Lazarre explores her own experiences of motherhood - the joy of feeling her baby move inside her, the pain and wonder of giving birth, the exhaustion of caring for a demanding newborn, the transformation of her identity, and her conflicting feelings of pleasure, fear, helplessness, love and guilt. Interweaving glimpses of daily life with internal reflections, she vividly captures the first few years of motherhood, the transition from the earliest days to the moment when her child attends a creche and she is able to pursue other commitments. Always there is ambivalence: she longs for escape to regain ehr lost independence, but she longs just as fiercely for total immersion in her infant. Lively, often very funny, altogether absorbing, this is an intensely personal tale which also reaches out to embrance experiences that all mothers share, raising such crucial issues as shred parenting conceptions of the self and women's work.
LeBlanc, Wendy. 1999. Naked Motherhood Shattering Illusions and Sharing Truths. Sydney: Random House.
A mother herself, Wendy LeBlanc wondered how other women cope with the extraordinary transition that takes place when a woman becomes a mother. And she also wondered why the profession of 'mother' seemed so sadly underrated. Initially out of curiosity, wendy surveyed and interviewed a diverse group of women about how their experiences measured up to their expectations. What she encountered was an outpouring of stories, many of which had never been shared before. These are the words and the voices that have inspired this book. Above all, what Wendy has found in her investigation is a wealth of anecdotal and statistical evidence that motherhood has been so neglected and devalued by our economic, social and political constructs that it has become a virtual wilderness. Hard evidence that we live in a world that values profit above people and balancing the budget above the health and welfare of our children. We are still waiting for the revolution which will recognise the invaluable contribution made by mothers; in the meantime they desperately need useful strategies for coping in a society which ignores the fact that they are overworked, underacknowledged, scarecely supported and often isolated and confused. Naked Motherhood shines a torch forward, encouraging mothers to find strength, pride and unity in the sharing of their stories, their truths. Only then will the power of their collective voice be heard.
Maushart, S. 1997. The mask of motherhood: how mothering changes everything and why we pretend it doesn't. Milsons Point: Vintage, Random House.
REVIEW Publishers Weekly: Adopting the posture of a prophetic truth teller, Maushart (Sort of a Place Like Home) makes some valuable points about contemporary attitudes toward motherhood. She attacks the myth that women can have it all, warning mothers that they will find themselves instead "doing it all." Furthermore, she argues, if women dared to speak the truth, they would open themselves to ridicule from those who view "achievement, control, and autonomy as the highest of adult aspirations." Motherhood, she stresses, is not and has never been simply one of many ingredients in the "Easymix" lifestyle. She's less convincing, and sometimes infuriating, when discussing childbirth: arguing that women's need for control dictates their childbirth decisions (a natural childbirth for some, a medically managed one for others), Maushart leaves no room for the possibility that a mother's choice might be driven by her desire to do what's best for the baby. Similarly, her insistence that breast-feeding women can't work outside the home because of a lactation-induced "hormonal fog" ignores or belittles the successful experiences of countless nursing, working mothers. In short, while Maushart provides a bracing reality check for women contemplating motherhood, she's not breaking any new ground. Any woman who has read Vicky Iovine's The Girlfriends' Guide to Pregnancy or The Girlfriends' Guide to Surviving the First Year of Motherhood can consider herself a recipient of the truth that Maushart claims is so hard to find.

MacDonald Strong, Shari. 2008. The Maternal is Political. Berkeley: Seal Press.
The saying is true: the hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world. and the world has never needed mothers more. World and natonal leaders can't agree on how to educate our children or empower us to feed our families, on how to join together as a global community or keep us safe. Fortunately, mothers - the most underestimated and unsung political group - hold the future in their arms and hands. Whether they're starting ambitious movements by taking on urgent matters that affect millions or speaking quietly within their homes and communities, the mothers in this collection are, like mothers everywhere, making a difference one person, one issue, one wrong-that-needs-righting at at time. For moms who are willing to fight that good fight, The Maternal is Political is a comfort, an inspiration; fuel for the fire, and a roadmap to a better future ... for us and for all of our children.
Power, Rachel. 2008. The divided heart Art and Motherhood. Fitzroy, Australia: Red Dog.
A divided heart; the fear that to succeed at one means to fail at the other. Australia's most respected artists, writers and actors speak frankly about the wrench between motherhood and an artistic life. Rachel Power navigates through the divided heart of these exceptional women to reveal the shocking, funny and moving truth of the overwhelming demands of motehrhood and an undiminished passion for their work.
Rich, Adrienne. 1986. Of Woman Born Motherhood as experience and institution. London: Virago Books.
Originally published in the 1970s. In this elequent blend of memoir and history, now a classic of our times, Adrienne Rich investigates both the experience and institution of motherhood. The experience is her own - as a woman, a poet, feminist and a mother - but it is an experience shaped by the institution: 'we need to fully understand the power and powerlessness embodied in motherhood'. Adrienne rich, one of America's foremost poets and polemicists, draws on anthropology, medicine, psychology and literature in this unique and imaginative book of universal importance for all mothers and daughters, fatehrs and sons.
Thurer, Shari, 1994, The Myths of Motherhood How culture reinvents the good mother, N.Y.:Houghton Mifflin
Given a voice, what would the Great Goddess, the Virgin Mary, Portnoy's mom have said about child care, contraception, bonding or breast-feeding? would their feelings have mattered? After all, maternity has been constructed by men over the millennia. Aristotle thought mother's womb merely cooked father's seed. The Church preferred virgins to mothers, and Freud was father-fixated. Even a brief survey of history reveals a diversity of maternal practices and ideals that are at odds with each other as well as with the views of contemporary child-care experts and psychologists.

"I cannot recall ever treating a mother who did not harbor shameful secrets about how her behaviour or feelings demanged her children", writes Thurer. today our sentimentalized conception of the good mother casts a long, guilt-inducing shadow over real mothers' lives. Never has there been so much advice and so little agreement. Never have the ideals of motherhood been as ambiguous, psychologically demanding, and unforgiving. One conclusion is certain: the "good mother" is a cultural invention.

In this brilliant synthesis of history, psychology, the arts, and religion, thurer shows how our current concept of the ideal mother, like all ideology, is culture-bound, historically specific, and hopelessley tied to fashion. Thurer exposes our current myths of motherhood as a backlash against recent gains in women's rights and control over their bodies.

"For thousands of years, because of her awesome ability to spew forth a child, mother has been feared and revered. She has been the subject of taboos, witchhunts, mandatory pregnancy, and confinement in a spearate sphere. She has endured appalling insults an dperpetual marginalization. She has also been the subject of glorious painting, chivalry, and idealization. Through it all she has rarely been consulted".

Rubenstein, Carin. 1999. The Sacrificial Mother. New York: Hyperion Press.
REVIEW Amazon: This book defines "sacrifice syndrome," a widespread but little-publicized problem afflicting millions of overzealous, selfless mothers. Author Carin Rubenstein, Ph.D., a social psychologist who admits she tracked down a classics scholar so her third-grade son could interview him for a school project, argues that both mothers and children would be better off if mothers acted a little more "selfist" and stopped denying things for themselves for the sake of their kids and husbands. Do you save the last chocolate chip cookie for the kids, even when you really want it? Do you go without sleep, without new clothes, without a night out on the town, just so your children will benefit? More than 55,000 parents were surveyed for this book, and Rubenstein effectively argues that the sacrificial mothers who never put themselves first are losing their sense of self. That loss affects their mental health--and eventually their family's functioning. Like Dalma Heyn's Marriage Shock, The Sacrificial Mother is an intriguing exploration into the psychology of modern women, and a practical guide for helping them bring peace and balance to their lives and follow their dreams--not those of their husbands or children.
Warner, Judith. 2005. Perfect Madness - Motherhood in the Age of Anxiety. N.Y.: Riverhead Books, Penguin.
REVIEW New Yorker: In this polemic about contemporary motherhood, Warner argues that the gains of feminism are no match for the frenzied perfectionism of American parenting. In the absence of any meaningful health, child-care, or educational provisions, martyrdom appears to be the only feasible model for successful maternity?with destructive consequences for both mothers and children. Comparing this situation with her experiences of child-rearing in France, Warner finds American "hyper-parenting"?pre-school violin and Ritalin on demand?"just plain crazy." The trouble is a culture that, though it places enormous private value on children, neglects them in the arena of public policy. She is concerned less with sexual politics than with the more pervasive effects of the "winner takes all" mentality, and makes an urgent case for more socially integrated parenthood.

Landry, Bart, 2002, Black Working Wives Pioneers of the American Family Revolution, University of California Press.
Long before the 1970s and the feminist revolution that shattered traditional notions of the family, black women in America had already accomplished their own revolution. Bart Landry's groundbreaking study adds immeasurably to our accepted concepts of "traditional" and "new" families: Landry argues that black middle-class women in two-parent families were practicing an egalitarian lifestyle that was envisioned by few of their white counterparts until many decades later. The primary transformation of the American family, Landry says, took place when nineteenth-century industrialization brought about the separation of home and workplace. Only then did the family we call traditional, in which the husband goes out to work while the wife stays at home, become the centerpiece of white middle-class ideology. Black women, excluded from this model of respectability, embraced a threefold commitment to family, community, and career. They embodied the notion that employment outside the home was the route to more equality in the home, and that work was worth pursuing for reasons other than economic survival. With a careful and convincing mix of biography, historical records, and demographic data, Landry shows how these black pioneers of the dual-career marriage created a paradigm for other women seeking to escape the cult of domesticity and thus foreshadowed the second great family transformation. If the two-parent nuclear family is to persist beyond the twentieth century, it may be because of what we can learn from these earlier women about an ideology of womanhood that combines the private and public spheres.
Douglas, Susan and Meredith Michaels, 2004, The Idealization of Motherhood and how it has undermined all women - The Mommy Myth, Free Press, New York.
Taking readers on a provocative tour through thirty years of media images about mothers - the superficial achievements of celebrity moms, the sensational coverage of dangerous day care, the media-manufactured "mommy wars" between working mothers and stay-at-home moms, and more - The Mommy Myth contends that this "new momism" has been shaped by out-of-date mores, and that no matter how hard they try, women will never achieve it. In this must-reead for every woman, Susan J. Douglas and Meredith W. Michaels shatter the myth of the perfect mom and all but shout, "We're not gonna take it anymore!"
de Marneffe, Daphne, 2004, Maternal desire on children, love, and the inner life, Back Bay Books, New York.
This brilliantly acclaimed, groundbreaking book - as as revoluntionary as The Second Sex and as controversial as Backlash - will transform readers' thinking about the place of child rearing in women's lives. By reminding us that, for most women, raising children provides a sense of meaning and fulfillment that nothing else in life offers, Maternal Desire not only challenges feminist doctrine but asks us to reconsider fundamentally the status and perception of motherhood in our society. Drawing on sources that range from classic literature to contemporary clinical studies to her own experience as a working mother of three young children, Daphne de Marneffe writes with grace and lucidity as she explores the pleasure of motherhood - its emotional, intellectual, and spiritual rewards - and projects an inspiring new vision of women's lives today.
Kaplan, E., 1997, Not Our Kind of Girl Unravelling the Myths of Black Teenage Motherhood, Uni of California.
One of the most worrisome images in America today is that of the teenage mother. For the African-American community, that image is especially troubling: All the problems of the welfare system seem to spotlight the black teenage mom. Elaine Bell Kaplan's affecting and insightful book dispels common perceptions of these young women. Her interviews with the women themselves, and with their mothers and grandmothers, provide a vivid picture of lives caught in the intersection of race, class, and gender. Kaplan challenges the assumption conveyed in the popular media that the African-American community condones teen pregnancy, single parenting, and reliance on welfare. Especially telling are the feelings of frustration, anger, and disappointment expressed by the mothers and grandmothers Kaplan interviewed. And in listening to teenage mothers discuss their problems, Kaplan hears first-hand of their misunderstandings regarding sex, their fraught relationships with men, and their difficulties with the educational system?all factors that bear heavily on their status as young parents. Kaplan's own experience as an African-American teenage mother adds a personal dimension to this book, and she offers substantial proposals for rethinking and reassessing the class factors, gender relations, and racism that influence black teenagers to become mothers.

Edin, Kathryn and Maria Kefalas, 2005, Promises I Can Keep Why Poor Women Put Motherhood Before Marriage, University of California Press.
Millie Acevedo bore her first child before the age of 16 and dropped out of high school to care for her newborn. Now 27, she is the unmarried mother of three and is raising her kids in one of Philadelphia's poorest neighborhoods. Would she and her children be better off if she had waited to have them and had married their father first? Why do so many poor American youth like Millie continue to have children before they can afford to take care of them? Over a span of five years, sociologists Kathryn Edin and Maria Kefalas talked in-depth with 162 low-income single moms like Millie to learn how they think about marriage and family. Promises I Can Keep offers an intimate look at what marriage and motherhood mean to these women and provides the most extensive on-the-ground study to date of why they put children before marriage despite the daunting challenges they know lie ahead.
Kristensen, Caryl and Marilyn Kentz, 1998, The Mother Load - When your life's on spin cycle and you just can't get the lid up!, Harper Perennial: New York.
The Motherload is a funny look at parenting that is also loaded with heart. The Motherload will encourage you and inspire you and most of all entertain you. By sharing their lives with us, Caryl and Marilyn help us all to feel like we're not alone.
Maschka, Kristin, 2009, This is not how I thought it would be - Remodeling motherhood to get the lives we want today, Berkley Books: New York.
When Kristin Maschka asked her husband to make their daughter a waffle one busy morning, the results were tears and recriminations. He had put the waffle into the toaster. Kristin scolded her husband "Of course she won't eat that. It's crunchy!" How could he not know his little girl liked her waffles soft from the microwave? How Kristen wondered, had she become the waffle expert? She and her husband had agreed to coparent but somehow the reality was simply not how she thought it would be. Every mother has a crunch waffle story - a moment of epiphany when the disconnect between ideal family life and real life becomes all too clear. Kristin Maschka goes below the surface of mothers, fathers, money, marriage, and work that are completely out of sync with today's families. Maschka weaves together her own story, anecdotes from others all over the country, and a deep knowledge of history and society to offer motehrs a comforting, often funny read tha helps them see themselves and the world around them in a whole new way. This book inspires mothers with the simple, concrete tools they need to remodel motherhood for themselves, their families, and their future.

Sanger, Margaret, 2000, Motherhood in Bondage, Ohio State University Press: USA.
Margaret Sanger (1883-1966) was a leading figure in the American birth control movement. Trained as a nurse, she moved to New York City to work among the poor. Having witnessed firsthand the travails of mothers in the city's poorest neighborhoods, she felt the need to provide them with information on reproduction and contraception. She abandoned her nursing career and devoted the rest of her life to disseminating information on women's reproduction and contraception, publishing books and articles and founding birth control clinics. In Motherhood in Bondage, first publishe din 1928 Sanger reproduced letters writen to her from women and sometimes men from all over the country, in both urban and rural areas, who were seeking advice on reproductive mattes and marital relations, but mostly imploring her to help them find ways to avoid more pregnancies. The letters are grouped by theme into sixteen chapters, and Sanger wrote an introduction to each chapter. In her new forward for this edition, Margaret Marsh describes the controversies surrounding these letters and places them in their historical context.
Porter, Marie, 2008, Transformative Power in Motherwork A study of mothering in the 1950s and 1960s, Cambridge Scholars.
In this book I explore the experience of a group of Australian women who became first-time mothers between 1950 and 1965. I present a grounded theory of transformative power in motherwork that has emerged from the analysis of interviews. The mothers talked about what they did in their active mothering eyars. I argue that despire being constrained by the gender bias in the patriarchal context, these mothers were agents who developed skills that enabled them to resist or creatively deal with most of the constraints they faced. Their emphasis was on their agency and the power to nurture their children into responsible adults. Their awareness of the importance of their motherwork acted as a motivator in this development. I argue that the relationship between each mother and each of her children is a transformative power relationship in which both mother and child are transformed - the child into an independent adult and the motehr into a skilled self-motivated agent through her motherwork. any threat to this process resulted in the mother doing all she could to resist or counteract the constraint/s she was encountering. Transformative power expressed in motherwork can be recognised analytically by several characteristics. It empowers both parties in the mother-child duality. complexity, diversity, fluidity, and responsiveness to the physical, intellecutal, and emotional aspects of the relationship are all evident in the transformative power relationships.

Susan Goodwin and Kate Huppatz (ed), 2010,The Good Mother contemporary motherhoods in Australia, Sydney University Press.
The Good Mother brings together essays on the contemporary relevance of the 'good mother' in Australia. Although the ideals of the 'good mother' change with time, fashion and context, they persist in public policy, the media, popular culture and workplaces. They place pressure on women to conform to particular standards, against which they are judged and judge themselves. This book captures the diversity of contemporary women's experiences. Chapters address the experiences of executive mothers, mothers working in manual trades, 'yummy mummies' and 'slummy mummies', low income motehrs, single mothers, indigenous mothers, lesbian parents, adoptive mothers and mothers negotiating schools and school choice. the essays demonstrate that while the 'good mother' is no longer exclusively white, heterosexual, economically dependent and child focused, prevailing ideas about mothers and motherhood continue to influence the way 'types' of women are represented and the way that all mothers think, act and present themselves.
Manne, Anne, 2005, Motherhood How should we care for our children?, Allen and Unwin, Sydney.
Women were told they should have it all: children and a full family life combined with a successful career. But who had time to wonder at what price and who pays? passionate about women's right to take their place in the public world but also honouring children's needs, respected social commentator Anne Manne presents a compelling new argument for an inclusive maternal feminism. There are better ways to support mothers, she argues, than the extremes on offer: either staying at hoem and suffering reduced career opportunities or working and being forced to rely on an inadequate childcare system. Manne combines the many strands of contemporary thought with personal experience to offer a comprehensive and accessible account of the debates over parenthood in general and early childcare in particular.
Johnson, Susan, 1999, A Better Woman A Memoir, Random House, Sydney.
If I had known then that what giving birth was to cost me, would I have dared to fall pregnant? Yes, yes. A thousand times, yes. Even now, knowing the freakish outcome of Caspar's birth was to make me feel like a freak all over again, I have never once wished him away. Every day I count myself lucky to have him.

When acclaimed fiction writer Susan Johnson fell pregnant with her first child, she could not have imagined the consequences of that potent life-giving act. she could not have known how giving birth was to change her body and her life in devastating ways, changing the intimate knowledge she had of herself forever. Raw and disturbingly beautiful, A Better Woman is Susan Johnson's moving chronicle of the births of her two precious sons and the new relationship she had to forge with herself, her family and the way she wrote. She was forced to coem face to face with the limitations of her body and her trust in it. Her study is a passionate account of the evolution of her identity as a woman, writer, mother and partner. But transcending her loss of faith in what she knew and understood of herself is a keenly felt sense of power, of life and of hope.

Fedler, J., 2006, Secret Mothers' Business One night, eight women, no kids, no holding back, Allen & Unwin, Sydney.
What happens when a group of eight very different women get together for a sleepover with no husbands, no kids, a sumptuous feast and a lot of alcohol? Joanne Fedler is about to find out. Secrets are revealed and loyalties tested as these women talk about everything from keeping up appearances to their most intimate fantasies and fears - and the seemingly impossible task of deciding just what to feed the family every single night of the damn week. Based on intimae converstations with real women, united only by their experiences of motherhood, Secret Mothers Business breaks the unwritten, and unspoken, code of perfect motehring to expose the raw truths of parenthood. No taboo is spared in this funny, thought provoking celebration of the beauty and complexity of friendship, the ways that women support one another, and the ways they can let each other down. Be wared, you may recognise yourself within these pages.


--- Psychoanalysis ---

My thesis was primarily concerned with 'maternal subjectivity' & 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 & 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', & '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 & 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 & space to absorb some of this material but, I for one, think of it as a 'gold mine'.

--- Summaries ---
Baraitser, Lisa. 2009. Maternal Encounters The Ethics of Interruption. London: Routledge.
Many women find mothering a shocking experience in terms of the extremity of feelings it provokes, and the profound changes it seems to prompt in identity, relationship and sen of self. However, motherhood can also provide us with a unique chance to make ourselves anew. How then do we understand this radical potential for transformation within maternal experience? In Maternal Encounters, Lisa Baraitser takes up this question by charting key destabilizing moments in the life of just one mother and using these to discuss many questions that have remained resistant to theoretical analysis - the possibility for a specific feminine-maternal subjectivity, relationality and reciprocity, ethics and otherness. Working across contemporary philosophies of feminist ethics, as well as psychanalysis and social theory, Baraitser takes us on a journey in which 'the mother' emerges in the most unlikely, precarious and unstable of places as a subject of alterity, transformation, interruption, heightened sentience, viscosity, encumberment and love. This book presents a major new theory of maternal subjectivity, and an innovative and accessible way into our understanding of contemporary motherhood. As such, it will be of interest to students of family studies, gender studies, psychoanalysis, critical psychology and feminist philosophy as well as counselling and psychotherapy.
Benjamin, J. 1995. Like Subject, Love Object Essays on Recognition and Sexual Difference. New Haven, London: Yale University Press.
REVIEW Elisabeth Young-Bruehl, Ph.D: This volume collects the essays Jessica Benjamin has written since The Bonds of Love appeared in 1988. Like Subjects, Love Objects is at once a critical review of the earlier book's leading ideas, a statement of their implications, a survey of the author's ideational terrain as it has evolved over the last ten years, and a new effort to situate her ideas in order to influence how that terrain will be understood. Benjamin is a theorist. She certainly makes reference to her psychoanalytic practice, drawing from it one-sentence vignettes, presenting an interesting extended dream interpretation, and trying to suggest how her ideas affect her practice, but primarily she is a theorist. So she gets oriented in theory, and for her that means in three traditions--one evolving from late-nineteenth-century Hegelian Marxism down through the Frankfurt School, Marcuse, and Habermas; a feminist one generated in the wake of de Beauvoir's The Second Sex and now drawing on postmodernist French philosophy (particularly as it concentrates on how selves are historically and discursively constructed); and one growing from Freud into the interpersonal and cultural Freudian schools of America in the 1950s, Winnicott and the British Middle Group in the 1960s, and on into what is now known as a "relational perspective." Because her work, like a great river, draws on many tributaries, it offers psychoanalytic readers an excellent perspective on what might be called "the widening scope of psychoanalytic theory."

Through most of the early 1980s, the meeting of psychoanalysts and feminism that centrally concerns Jessica Benjamin was conducted in this country by feminists. After a decade of repudiating psychoanalysis in a tone set by works like Kate Millett's Sexual Politics (1970), second-wave feminist theorists, let by Juliet Mitchell and Nancy Chodorow, began to reassess Freud and the Freudians. Their concern was with what psychoanalysis, critically appropriated, might bring to social theory. Mitchell wanted to make British Marxism aware of its neglect of the oppression of women, even when it had been receptive to the work of Reich and other Left Freudians; Chodorow wanted to awaken the American sociological tradition, or that part of it indebted to Talcott Parsons and others who had sociologized Freud, to the ways in which social institutions perpetuate what are now called gender roles. In this context, Benjamin focused on domination, not as a problem of Hobbesian wolfish human nature needing authority to control it, but as a problem of relationships, a problem involving the hearts and minds of dominated people. She wanted Freudian-influenced social theory to see that domination is not simply repression or coercion but a complex process of forming and shaping dominated people into participants in their domination. And she wanted attention paid to the primary category of dominated people. "What is extraordinary about the discussion of authority throughout Freudian thought is that it occurs exclusively in a world of men. The struggle for power takes place between father and son; woman plays no part in it, except as a prize or temptation to regression, or as the third point of a triangle." Women were considered not so much dominated as naturally subordinate.

A decade after Mitchell's Psychoanalysis and Feminism and Chodorow's The Reproduction of Mothering, and at about the time of Benjamin's The Bonds of Love, there began within psychoanalysis itself an assimilation of feminist theory: Psychoanalytic theory, not just social theory, was challenged by feminists--quite a number of whom, including Mitchell and Chodorow, by then trained as psychoanalysts--who took aim at Freudian views of both female and male development. They were continuing a line of critique begun in the 1920s by Klein, Jones, and Horney with regard to female development and adding to work begun in the 1960s by Ralph Greenson, Robert Stoller, and others on male development. Gender identity construction was the leading theme, and any idea of the natural subordination of women was rightly rejected as a relic of the period preceding the feminist revolution.

In this current collection of essays, Benjamin approaches this gender identity theme with two characteristic convictions. First, she is an includer, a synthesizer. She looks over the history of psychoanalytic theorizing in America and understands that it is very American--that is, faddish and cliquish. New voices are forever rising up and declaring old voices either opposite or obsolete. So, if you adopt object relations theory you must abandon libido theory; if you are an intersubjectivist you must eschew the intrapsychic; and so forth. Benjamin, by contrast, believes in holding onto the multiplicity of perspectives--most basically, a multiplicity of images of the baby and its mother--and moving back and forth among them, combining them when they can be combined, translating when they cannot. This is not eclecticism. It is a thinking procedure built upon a refusal to be monistic or to be trapped in binary oppositions, to "allow competing ideas to be entertained simultaneously" (p. 4). Second, she believes in giving attention to phenomena, moments in developmental processes, or types of theorizing that have been neglected, thought to be over and done with, or misconstrued; she is a recuperator, or, to use her own language, so redolent of her dialectical heritage, she is dedicated to "reintegrating the excluded, negative moment to create a sustained tension rather than an opposition" (p. 23). In this collection, two of Benjamin's many concerns are central, one related to each of the two convictions just noted. As a synthesizer, she develops the concept of recognition, which was also central to The Bonds of Love. As a recuperator, she develops the related concepts of identificatory love and overinclusivity. Let me try to evoke the richness of her essays by sketching just these two contributions.

Recognition is Benjamin's term--taken originally from Hegel's reflections on the master-slave dialectic--for the mode of relation (or intersubjectivity) between two people in which each can compass the other as an independent subject, both like and not-like. She wants to construct something like a developmental line of recognition. To do so, she begins with the work of infant researchers like Daniel Stern who have insisted that prototypes of recognition are present ab ovo--that is, her baby is not swaddled in Freudian primary narcissism. From Winnicott, then, she draws the image of a later intersubjective moment of differentiation, of perceiving an objective object, beyond a subjectively conceived object--a breast actually outside, giving milk, beyond a wished-for breast. Freud's baby would need to be interrupted or frustrated by reality in order to get real in this way, Benjamin argues, but Winnicott's baby learns from its mother's recognition and its own recognition of her to curb inwardly its omnipotence, its hallucinating of the breast. Good adult lovers, good psychoanalysts, and good democrats are thus foretold: "Denial of the mother's subjectivity, in theory and in practice, profoundly impedes our ability to see the world as inhabited by equal subjects" (p. 31). In the realm of the nonrecognizers, Benjamin studies exemplars: theorists oblivious to subjectivity, political oppressors, pornographers (chap. 6).

In the preoedipal development of recognition a child can acquire capacities to keep the period of its sense of complementarity--the oedipal period of "the other," the different--from rigidity. A preoedipal child who recognizes its mother can then recognize difference without rejection, denial, or excesses of envy. The preoedipal period is, further, the period--in Benjamin's view--of identificatory love. She notes several times that Freud distinguished primary identifications from those later identifications that follow upon object love or the dissolution of the oedipus complex. Although Freud tended to neglect the primary identifications, she thinks these - as modes of love - are crucial to a preoedipal child's "overinclusivity" (a concept drawn from Irene Fast's Gender Identity). Because children have identificatory love for parents and others of both sexes, they experience themselves as both. Later, oedipal delimitation can be built up on this overinclusive basis, rather than on a basis of disidentification, being thereby not caricaturedly or stereotypically all-masculine or all-feminine. Benjamin, true to her conviction about the importance of negative dialectical moments, focuses on neglected preoedipal identifications--the boy's with his mother and the girl's with her father (chap. 4). Both for its battle maps of current theories and for its diplomacy, this is a very valuable book. For its contributions to the rapidly emerging field of psychoanalytic gender theory, it is a challenging one - perhaps even a prolegomena to the future clinical studies that field so urgently needs.

Benjamin, J. 1998. Shadow of the other Intersubjectivity and gender in psychoanalysis. N.Y.: Routledge.
Jessica Benjamin's latest effort to bring critical theory and psychoanalysis into a dynamic conversation results in many splendid insights. she clarifies her own relational contribution to object-relations theory, and insists that harboring alterity within the self remains the ideal for psychic life. Along the way, she emphasizes the importance of undoing repudiations, of rewriting the oedipal and pre-oedipal in relation to gender polarity, and reminds us of the oscillation of gender catergories. Shadow of the other makes the matter of intersubjective recognition at once complex and urgent.
Chodorow, Nancy. 1978. The Reproduction of Mothering: psychoanalysis and sociology of gender. Berkeley: University of California Press.
The Reproduction of Mothering was that rare book that had a major impact on two different constituencies: feminists and psychoanalysts. It was a must-read in 1978, putting object-relations theory on the map in the United States, and it remains a must-read today. It continues to shape the thinking of analysts and feminists today, and it is one of the key texts available that links psyche and culture, psychoanalysis and sociology." - Ethel Spector Person, M.D., author of The Sexual Century "The book that created a Copernican Revolution in gender theory. . . . From literature to political science, from disciples to critics, no feminist theory has been untouched by Chodorow's bold and brilliant reconfiguration."--Susan Bordo, author of Unbearable Weight and The Male Body
Chodorow, Nancy, 1989, Feminism and Psychoanalytic Theory, Yale University Press: New Haven.
In this important book, a leading feminist theorist traces the development of her views on the psychodynamics and culture of gender, drawing on her understanding of psychoanalysis as well as her background in sociology and anthropology. In a series of provocative essays, Nancy Chodorow elucidates how the unconscious awareness of self and gender that we develop from earliest infancy continues to shape both our experiences as men and women and the patterns of inequality and difference that permeate our society and culture.
Chodorow, Nancy. 1999. The Power of Feelings Personal Meaning in Psychoanalysis, Gender and Culture. New Haven/London: Yale University Press.
In the middle of the twentieth century, leading cultural critics and visionaries - Erik Erikson, Lionel Trilling, herbert Marcuse, and many others - turned to psychoanalysis as a measure of human personal and cultural fulfillment. Now, as we enter a new millennium, Nancy J. Chodorow, well-known feminist theorist and psychoanalyst, takes her place in this line of eminent thinkers and revitalizes their project. Psychoanalysis, she claims, offers in its clinical goals and its vision of possibility insight into the nature of subjectivity and the quality of relations with others. Psychoanalytic theory continues centuries of reflection and speculation about the good life. In this pathbreakding book Chodorow draws on her wide knowledge and back-ground in social theory, her feminism, and her experience as a psychoanalyst. In closely reasoned chapters on psychoanalytic theory, she argues that a psychoanalysis that begins from the immediacy of unconscious fantasy and feeeling present in the clinical encounter illuminates our understanding of individual subjectivity and potentially transforms all sociocultural thought. Creating a dialogue between feminism, anthropoloty, and psychoanalysis, she holds that feminism, anthropology, and other cultural theories require that psychoanslysts take seriously how cultural meanings help to constitute psychic life. At the same time, psychoanalysis demonstrates that conemporary theories of meaning cannot neglect the unconscious realm, which has just as much power as culture to create meaning for the individual. In her reflections on current thinking, Chodorow acknowledges postmodern accounts of the decentering and fragmentation of indivieduality but argues that psychoanalysis gives us an account of subjectivity that incorporates forms of wholeness and depth of experience without which we cannot have a meaningful life.
Gyler, Louise, 2010, The Gendred Unconscious can gender discourses subvert Psychoanalysis?, Routledge, London.
Feminist interventions in psychoanalysis have often attempted either to subvert or reframe the masculinist and phallocentric biases of Freud's psychoanalysis. This book investigates the nature of these interventions by comparing the status and treatment of women in two different psychoanalytic models: the Kleinian and the feminist models. It argues that, in fact, these interventions have historically tended to reinforce such biases by collapsing the distinction between the gendeered minds of individuals and theories of gender. This investigation is framed by two steps. First, in assessing the position of women and the femine in psychoanalysis, The Gendered Unconscious explores not only the ways they are represented in theory, but also how these representations function in practice. Secondly, this book uses a framework of a comparative dialogue to highlight the assumptions and values that underpin the theory and clinical practice in the two psychoanalytic models. This comparative critique concludes with the counterintuitive claim that contemporary Kleinian theory may, in practice, hold more radical possibilities for the interests of women than the practices derived from contemporary psychoanalytic gender theory.

Jacobs, Amber. 2007. On Matricide Myth, Psychoanalysis & the Law of the Mother. N.Y.: Columbia Uni. Press.
REVIEW - Feminist Review: In this book Amber Jacobs re-interprets the myths of Orestes and Oedipus with the concept of matricide in mind. ?The Law of the Father,? Jacobs writes, has remained the ?dominant model of Western psychological and cultural analysis,? while the law of the mother continues to be nothing more than a ?marginal concept.? Ignoring the law of the mother in the myths of Orestes and Oedipus fails to tell the ?whole story." Freud, the father of psychoanalysis, focused solely on the father as ?the prime author of identity and human generation,? and believed males were the standard, while females were feeble beings who could only long to be male. Although enlightened and brilliant, Freud's prejudices and misogynous attitude were typical of the average man of his generation, and his famous ideas about "penis envy," from which he claimed all women suffered, reflect the prejudice that males alone were the "prime author of identity and human generation." Patricide, Jacobs writes, is a concept found in psychoanalytic theory while matricide is not.

Jacobs writes that Freud chose the myth of Oedipus as his model of masculinity and its ?pitfalls,? but would have found different aspects of masculinity - such as the ?dread of the omnipotent mother? - had he chosen to study the Oresteian myth. While the theme of matricide is obvious in The Oresteia, due to Orestes? murder of his mother Clytemnestra, matricide is also indirectly evident in the myth of Oedipus. Perhaps Freud chose the Oedipus myth as his model so as not to acknowledge the matricide of The Oresteia. Yet the concept of matricide is there in the myth of Oedipus as well. While Oedipus does not directly kill his wife/mother, Jocasta - as in Orestes? stabbing of Clytemnestra - her suicide is because of Oedipus. His words, rather than physical violence, Jacobs writes, cause the death of Jocasta.

Besides the myths of Oedipus and Orestes, Jacobs takes a look at the forgotten mother of Athena: Metis. After being chased and raped by Zeus, Metis is swallowed whole by the father of the gods while pregnant with Athena who eventually springs fully grown from the head of Zeus. After this Metis is never again mentioned and Athena is referred to as the ?motherless goddess? in the Greek pantheon. When Orestes is put on trial for the murder of his mother, it is Athena who presides and finds Orestes innocent of his crime. How interesting that the goddess whose unique birth, and who is truly her ?father?s daughter,? is the goddess to decide the fate of Orestes. Matricide is Athena?s birthright, writes Jacobs. By swallowing Metis and absorbing her wisdom, Zeus ?effectively obliterates the mother-daughter relation.? These are just some of the concepts Jacobs explores in On Matricide. Her work is a fascinating re-telling of classic myths. It is amazing that the idea of matricide has been ignored in these myths for so long when, as Jacobs writes, it was obviously there. - Review by Kent Page McGroarty

Mitchell, Stephen A., and Lewis Aron, eds. 1999. Relational Psychoanalysis The Emergence of a Tradition. Hillsdale/London: The Analytic Press.
Over the course of the past 15 years, there has been a vast sea change in American psychoanalysis. It takes the form of a broad movement away from classical psychoanalytic theorizing grounded in Freud's drive theory toward models of mind and development grounded in object relations concepts. In clinical practice, there has been a corresponding movement away from the classical principles of neutrality, abstinence and anonymity toward an interactive vision of the analytic situation that places the analytic relationship, with its powerful, reciprocal affective currents, in the foreground. These developments have been evident in virtually all schools of psychoanalysis in America, from the most traditional to the most radical.

The wellspring of these innovations is the work of a group of psychoanalysts who have struggled to integrate aspects of interpersonal psychoanalysis, various British object relations theories, and psychoanalytic feminism. Although not self-selected as a school, these theorists have generated a distinct tradition of psychoanalytic thought and clinical practice that has become extremely influential within psychoanalysis in the United States.

Relational Psychoanalysis: The Emergence of a Tradition brings together for the first time the seminal papers of the major authors within this tradition. Each paper is accompanied by an introduction, in which the editors place it in its historical context, and a new afterward, in which the author suggests subsequent developments in his or her thinking. This book is an invaluable resource for any clinical practitioner, teacher or student of psychoanalysis interested in exploring the exciting developments of recent years.

Parker, R. 2005. Torn in Two The Experience of Maternal Ambivalence. London: Virago.
More and more women confess uneasily to finding motherhood as much a source of pain as pleasure. Rozsika Parker discusses the reasons why. She presents a new and provacative understanding of maternal ambivalence, suggesting that the coexistence of love and hate can stimulate and sharpen a mother's awareness of what is going on between her and her child. Drawing on interviews with mothers, clinical material from her practice as a psychoanalytic psychotherapist, and a range of literary and popular sources, Parker creates a powerful exploration of maternal ambivalence in a culture painfully and profoundly uncomfortable at its very existence.
Abel, Elizabeth, Barbara Christian and Helene Moglen (editors), 1997, Female Subjects in Black and White Race, Psychoanalysis, Feminism, University of California Press. USA.
This landmark collaboration between African American and white feminists goes to the heart of problems that have troubled feminist thinking for decades. Putting the racial dynamics of feminist interpretation center stage, these essays question such issues as the primacy of sexual difference, the universal nature of psychoanalytic categories, and the role of race in the formation of identity. They offer new ways of approaching African American texts and reframe our thinking about the contexts, discourses, and traditions of the American cultural landscape. Calling for the racialization of whiteness and claiming that psychoanalytic theory should make room for competing discourses of spirituality and diasporic consciousness, these essays give shape to the many stubborn incompatibilities?as well as the transformative possibilities?between white feminist and African American cultural formations. Bringing into conversation a range of psychoanalytic, feminist, and African-derived spiritual perspectives, these essays enact an inclusive politics of reading. Often explosive and always provocative, Female Subjects in Black and White models a new cross-racial feminism.
Elissa Marder, 2011, The Mother in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction: Psychoanalysis, Photography, Deconstruction. Fordham University Press
This book grows out of a longstanding fascination with the uncanny status of the mother in literature, philosophy, psychoanalysis, film, and photography. The mother haunts Freud's writings on art and literature, emerges as an obscure stumbling block in his metapsychological accounts of the psyche, and ultimately undermines his patriarchal accounts of the Oedipal complex as a foundation for human culture. The figure of the mother becomes associated with some of psychoanalysis's most unruly and enigmatic concepts (the uncanny, anxiety, the primal scene, the crypt, and magical thinking). Read in relation to deconstructive approaches to the work of mourning, this book shows how the maternal function challenges traditional psychoanalytic models of the subject, troubles existing systems of representation, and provides a fertile source for nonmimetic, nonlinear conceptions of time and space.

The readings in this book examine the uncanny properties of the maternal function in psychoanalysis, technology, and literature in order to show that the event of birth is radically unthinkable and often becomes expressed through uncontrollable repetitions that exceed the bounds of any subject. The maternal body often serves as an unacknowledged reference point for modern media technologies such as photography and the telephone, which attempt to mimic its reproductive properties. To the extent that these technologies aim to usurp the maternal function, they are often deployed as a means of regulating or warding off anxieties that are provoked by the experience of loss that real separation from the mother invariably demands. As the incarnation of our first relation to the strange exile of language, the mother is inherently a literary figure, whose primal presence in literary texts opens us up to the unspeakable relation to our own birth and, in so doing, helps us give birth to new and fantasmatic images of futures that might otherwise have remained unimaginable.

Jagentowicz Mills, Patricia, 1987, Women Nature and Psyche, New Haven: Yale University Press.
This book by Patricia Jagentowicz Mills is a critical analysis of the relationship between the domination of nature and the domination of women in society. A feminist work rooted in the critical theory of the first generation of the Frankfurt School - Marcuse, Horkheimer, and Adorno - and in the work of their precursors Hegel, Marx, and Freud, it shows not only the importance of critical theory to feminist issues but also the centrality of feminist questions to critical theory. according to Mills, critical theorists analyse the human domination of nature as a fundamental component of modern society and understand that the equality of the sexes is central to their critique of culture; however, these theorists do not consider that their work is often based on ideas of Hegel, Marx, and freud that contain sexist assumptions. Mills shows that Hegel's limitation of women to the sphere of family life contradicts his claim of creating a universal philosophy and that Marx's writings propose equality between the sexes but gloss over the dynamics of patriarchal domination. Mills explains that the critical theory of Marcuse, Horkheimer, and Adorno focuses on the family as the sphere where the individual's psyche develops; these men insist that woman's role in the family is crucial to this development, but they ignore the wider implications of women's experience in their theories. She points out, for example, that their interpretation of civilization is based on a tension between Freudian and Hegelian accounts of ego-development, a tension that is echoed in the feminist ambivalence about whether the central mode of ego-development is motherhood or sisterhood. Mills argues that the articulation of women's experience enables us to recognize the difference between men and women and still maintain equality within critical theory's project of human liberation.

--- 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 Martha 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?
--- Summaries ---
Lawler, Steph. 2000. Mothering the Self: Mothers, daughters, subjects. London/New York: Routledge.
The mother-daughter relationship has preoccupied feminist writers for decades, but typically the daughter's story has been set centre stage. Mothering the self brings together maternal and daughterly stories through drawing on in-depth interviews with women who speak both as mothers and as daughters. In analysing these narratives alogn with the relations of expertise which define both motherhood and daughterhood, Steph Lawler argues that Euro-american motehrs are primarily positioned in terms of their responsibility for 'mothering the self' of their children. Yet this 'self' assumes a model of the 'normal person' - marked by specific class, gender and race locations - and reduces social location and identity to an individualized psychology engendered by the mother. This study examines the ways in which mothers and daughters participate in these understandings, both using and resisting them. The result is a fresh start simply for mothers and daughters, but in terms of how we understand the shaping of the self and its place within the social world.
Everingham, Christine, 1994. Motherhood and Modernity: an investigation into the rational dimension of mothering, 1994, Open University Press, Buckingham/Philadelphia.
This book takes a central topic in women's studies and sociology of the family and presents an innovative analysis linking motherhood to broader sociological debates on modernity, rationality and individuation. It has many strengths, including a well handled mix of theoretical and ethnographic material, a focused review of contemporary discussions of rationality and the self, an excellent review of the literature on mothering and morality, and perhaps most importantly, an insightful and illuminating central hypothesis which will promote lively debate. Current models of mothering are based on the assumption that infants have biologically determined 'needs' that mothers learn to recognize and meet in socially approved ways. Christine Everingham develops an alternative model of nurturing that locates mothers as subjects, actively constructing the perspective of their child while asserting their own needs and interests in a particular socio-cultural context. this powerful book extends contemporary scholarly debates on mothering and modernity and is a valuable resource for teaching in women's studies and sociology.
Beck, U., Beck-Gernsheim, E. 1995. The Normal Chaos of Love. Cambridge: Polity Press.
Men and women are increasingly becoming the authors of their own styles of life. The nature of love is changing fundamentally in conjunction with transformations in sexual life and family forms. Love, as Beck and Beck-Gernsheim argue, has become an empty category, which lovers themselves must fill in relation to their own biographies and emotional lives. The consequences of this situation are manifold. On the one hand, there stands the possibility of creating forms of democracy in personal life which parallel those achieved in the public sphere; on the other, there is the potentiality for chaos. Love, say the authors, becomes more important than ever before at the same time as it becomes more elusive. The struggle to harmonize family and career, love and marriage, "new" motherhood and fatherhood has today replaced "class" struggle. For better or for worse, individuals today who want to live together are becoming the legislators of their own ways of life, the judges of their own transgressions, the priests who absolve their owns sins and the therapists who loosen the bonds of their own past. This book extends and deepens some of the themes introduced in Ulrich Beck's celebrated work Risk Society. Social life is becoming much more open than ever before; at the same time, the mixture of opportunity and risk thus created introduces new anxieties into the various spheres of social life.
Beck, Ulrich, Anthony Giddens, and Scott Lash. 1994. Reflexive modernization, politics, tradition and aesthetics in the modern social order. Cambridge: Polity Press.
Three prominent social thinkers discuss how modern society is undercutting its formations of class, stratum, occupations, sex roles, the nuclear family, and more. Reflexive modernization, or the way one kind of modernization undercuts and changes another, has wide ranging implications for contemporary social and cultural theory, as this provocative book demonstrates.

Beck, Ulrich, and Elizabeth Beck-Gernsheim. 2002. Individualization: Institutionalized Individualism and its Social and Political Consequences. London: Sage.
Individualization argues that we are in the midst of a fundamental change in the nature of society and politics. This change hinges around two processes: globalization and individualization. The book demonstrates that individualization is a structural characteristic of highly differentiated societies, and does not imperil social cohesion, but actually makes it possible. Ulrich Beck and Elisabeth Beck-Gernsheim argue that it is vital to distinguish between the neo-liberal idea of the free-market individual and the concept of individualization. The result is the most complete discussion of individualization currently available, showing how individualization relates to basic social rights and also paid employment; and concluding that in as much as basic rights are internalized and everyone wants to or must be economically active, the spiral of individualization destroys the given foundations of social co-existence.
Bourdieu, Pierre. 2002. Masculine Domination. Standford: Stanford University Press.
Masculine domination is so anchored in our social practices and our unconscious that we hardly perceive it; it is so much in line with our expectations that we find it difficult to call into question. Pierre Bourdieu?s analysis of Kabyle society provides instruments to help us understand the most concealed aspects of the relations between the sexes in our own societies, and to break the bonds of deceptive familiarity that tie us to our own tradition. Bourdieu analyzes masculine domination as a prime example of symbolic violence?the kind of gentle, invisible, pervasive violence exercised through the everyday practices of social life. To understand this form of domination we must also analyze the social mechanisms and institutions?family, school, church, and state?that transform history into nature and eternalize the arbitrary. Only in this way can we open up the possibilities for a kind of political action that can put history in motion again by neutralizing the mechanisms that have naturalized and dehistoricized the relations between the sexes. This new book by Pierre Bourdieu?which has been a bestseller in France?will be essential reading for anyone concerned with questions of gender and sexuality and with the structures that shape our social, political, and personal lives.
Beck-Gernsheim, Elizabeth. 2002. Reinventing the Family: in search of new lifestyles. Cambridge: Polity Press.
The traditional image of the family as a life-long unit is fading fast. There are fewer marriages, more divorces, and ever more children born to unmarried or single parents. The forms of our private life are changing rapidly, and people are embarking on new lifestyles based on cohabitation, separation and same-sex partnerships. In this lively and accessible new book, Elisabeth Beck-Gernsheim looks at the future of our lives after the family. Examining the breakdown of the conventional family unit, she explores the new choices that are open to individuals, and analyses our anxiety over the ensuing loss of stability. In Reinventing the Family, Beck-Gernsheim describes how men and women are being confronted with competing and often incompatible demands. Our areas of personal choice have been redrawn, but in a space that involves new social regulations and controls. The talk of 'family values' sits uneasily with the reality of long working-hours, business trips, weekend seminars and career moves. At work, we are encouraged to pursue competition, speed and change; at home we are expected to find community and conciliation. Beck-Gernsheim examines the impact of these conflicting expectations on the relationships between men, women and children, and searches for possible solutions. This is an important and timely contribution to the growing debate about the family and its future. It will be ideal reading for students of sociology and gender studies, but will also appeal to a wide general readership.
Bourdieu, P. 1998. Practical Reason on the theory of action. Cambridge: Polity Press.
Do social classes really exist? Is disinterested action really possible? What do the family, the church, and the intellectual world have in common? Can morality be founded on hypocrisy? What is the ?subject? of action? In this new volume, one of France?s foremost social thinkers of our time responds to these major questions and to others, thus tracing the outlines of a work that could be called ?Pierre Bourdieu by himself.? In these texts, the author tries to go to the essential, that is, the most elementary and fundamental, questions. He thereby explains the philosophical principles that have led to his social science research and the idea of the human that guides his choices there. With the lucidity allowed by retrospect, Bourdieu brings out the fundamental theories of his greatest books, notably Outline of a Theory of Practice and The Logic of Practice (Stanford, 1990), and, with an eye to the future, presents the first results of his most recent work on the state, the anthropological moorings of the economy, and male domination. Bourdieu?s theory is both a philosophy of science dedicated to revealing the objective relations that shape and underpin social life, and a philosophy of action that takes account of agents? dispositions as well as the structured situations in which they act. This philosophy of action is condensed in a small number of key concepts?habitus, field, capital?and it is defined by the two-way relationship between the objective structures of social fields and the incorporated structures of the habitus. All in all, this book should be an indispensable introduction to Bourdieu?s work, not only to students and scholars in sociology, anthropology, political science, and philosophy, but throughout the social sciences and humanities generally.

Castoriadis, C. 1987. The imaginary institutions of society. Cambridge: Polity Press.
This is one of the most original and important works of contemporary European thought. First published in France in 1975, it is the major theoretical work of one of the foremost thinkers in Europe today.Castoriadis offers a brilliant and far-reaching analysis of the unique character of the social-historical world and its relations to the individual, to language, and to nature. He argues that most traditional conceptions of society and history overlook the essential feature of the social-historical world, namely that this world is not articulated once and for all but is in each case the creation of the society concerned. In emphasizing the element of creativity, Castoriadis opens the way for rethinking political theory and practice in terms of the autonomous and explicit self-institution of society.
Castoriadis, C. 1997. World in Fragments Writings on Politics, Society, Psychoanalysis, and the Imagination. Edited by D. A. Curtis. Stanford: Stanford University Press.
This collection presents a broad and compelling overview of the most recent work by a world renowned figure in contemporary thought. starting from an inquiry that grows out of the specific context of a society that is experiencing uncertainty as to its ways of living and being, its goals, its values, and its knowledge, one that has been incapable, so far, of adequately understanding the crisis it is undergoing, Castoriadis sets as his task the elucidation of this crisis and its conditions.
Craig, Lyn. 2007. Contemporary Motherhood the Impact of Children on Adult Time. England: Ashgate.
This book reveals how parents divide their time between caring for children, housework, paid work, and leisure in Australia and other nations, and how gender structures time use. Through careful analysis of time use data and astute conceptual synthesis, Craig shows us the big picture of the costs and benefits of children in modern society. Craig's work offers an insightful and comprehensive account of the time demands of parenthood. The data analysed here provide important new insights into gender divisions in the home, including for the first time a detailed understanding of gender differences in the performance of primary and secondary caring activities.
Giddens, Anthony. 1992. The Transformation of Intimacy: Sexuality, Love and Eroticism in Modern Societies. Cambridge: Polity.
The sexual revolution: an evocative term, but what meaning can be given to it today? How does ?sexuality? come into being, and what connections does it have with the changes that have affected personal life more generally? In answering these questions, the author disputes many of the dominant interpretations of the role of sexuality in modern culture. The author suggests that the revolutionary changes in which sexuality has become cauth up are more long-term than generally conceded. He sees them as intrinsic to the development of modern societies as a whole and to the broad characteristics of that development. Sexuality as we know it today is a creation of modernity, a terrain upon which the contradictory tendencies of modern social life play themselves out in full. Emancipation and oppression, opportunity and risk?these have become a part of a heady mix that irresistably ties our individual lives to global outcomes and the transformation of intimacy.

We live today in a social order in which, for the first time in histroy, women are becoming equal to men?or at least have lodged a claim to such equality as their right. The author does not attempt to analyze the gender inequalities that persist in the economic or political domains, but instead concentrates on a more hisdden personal area in which women?ordinary women, in the course of their day-to-day lives, quite apart from any political agenda?have pioneered changes of greate, and generalizable, importance. These changes essentially concern an exploration of the potentialities of the ?pure relationship,? a relaitonship that presumes sexual and emotional equality, and is explosive in its connotations for pre-existing relations of power.

The author analyzes the emergence of what he calls plastic sexuality?sexuality freed from its intrinsic relation to reproduction?in terms of the emotional emancipation implicit in the pure relationship, as well as women?s claim to sexual pleasure. Plastic sexuality is decentered sexuality, freed from both reproduction and subservience to a fixed object. It can be molded as a trait of personality, and thus become bound up with the reflexivity of the self. Premised on plastic sexuality, the pure relationship is not exclusively heterosexual; it is neutral in terms of sexual orientation. The author speculates that the transformaion of intimacy might be a subversive influence on modern institutions as a whole, for a social world in which the dominant ideal was to achieve intinsic rewards from the company of others might be vastly different from that which we know at the present.

Ribbens McCarthy, Jane, and Rosalind Edwards. 2002. The individual in public and private. In Analysing Families Morality and Rationality in Policy and Practice, edited by A. Carling, S. Duncan and R. Edwards. United Kingdom: Routledge.
While the family and its role continues to be a key topic in social and government policy, much of the literature is concerned with describing the dramatic changes that are taking place. By contrast, Analysing Families directly addresses the social processes responsible for these changes - how social policy interacts with what families actually do. Topics covered include: the relationship between morality and rationality in the family context; the variety of contemporary family forms; the purposes and assumptions of government interventions in family life; the relationship between different welfare states and different ideas about motherhood; 'Third Way' thinking on families; divorce and post-divorce arrangements; lone parenthood and step-parenting; the decision to have children; the economic approach to understanding family process; the legitimacy of state intervention in family life.


--- Economics ---

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'.

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Hays, S. 2003. Flat Broke with Children Women in the Age of Welfare Reform. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
REVIEW online: In this book Sharon Hays tries to tell the story of welfare reform from the perspective of those who live it: people who work in welfare offices attempting to help those in need and the clients they serve, mostly single mothers struggling to make ends meet while raising their children.There are two aspects to Hays? analysis: personal and cultural. On the personal side we are given the fruits of interviews with hundreds of welfare workers and recipients, learning much more about what their lives are like than most are aware of. Through the course of this many cliches and prejudices about welfare recipients are trashed ? and deliberately so. Hays doesn?t try to make the poor heroic or noble. She asks them tough questions and often gets admissions about how past behavior had been self-destructive, leading them to their problems today. At the same time, she also refuses to stigmatize them as they typically have been through history: ?They are ordinary people. Their moral characters are as varied as those of the people who live in my neighborhood, the consumers who share my grocery store, or the college students who attend my classes. Some are lovable, some are not; some are heroic, most are not. The other side of Hays? analysis is cultural. As she states in the beginning of her book, ?A nation?s laws reflect a nation?s values.? This leads her to the question: what do our welfare laws say about our values? Unfortunately, they say that our values are deeply confused.
Hochschild, Arlie, and Anne Machung. 1989. The Second Shift: working parents and the revolution at home. New York: Viking.
REVIEW Publishers Weekly: As more women work outside the home more tensions arise within their families. In this study of two-career parents, Hochschild, professor of sociology at UC Berkeley and herself a dual-career parent, identifies as "second shift" the domestic activity that occupies parents before they go to and after they return from office or shop. Conducted from 1981-1988, her interviews with working parents with children under age six reveal the inner lives of these families. We hear from women who are lawyers, executives, word processors, garment pattern cutters--and from their husbands, baby-sitters, friends and neighbors. There is agreement as to the difficulty of both parents working full time and raising children well; however, the perceptions of which partner shoulders prime responsibility vary. Even in self-perceived egalitarian couples, inequity appears, with women generally spending much more time than men on housework and childcare. This well-researched popular sociology book is presented with style and sympathy.
O'Connor, Julia S, Ann Shola Orloff, and Sheila Shaver. 1999. States, Markets, Families Gender, Liberalism and Social Policy in Australia, Canada, Great Britain and the United States. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
REVIEW Governance 2001: "This groundbreaking book brings together a wealth of information about the gendered effects of social policy in these four conutries. This book can and should be read by anyone interested in gendering social policy analyses or in learning more about liberalism and social policy. State, Markets, Families makes a tremendous contribution to scholarship in the areas of gender and social policy, and of social policy more broadly. This volume is destined to become a classic and to inspire new analyses of gender and social policy for many decades to come."
Pocock, B. 2003. Work-Life Collision: what work is doing to Aust. & what to do about it. Sydney: Fed.Press
REVIEW - Leanne Cutcher who teaches industrial relations and human resource management at the University of Sydney: The extended title of this book, ?What work is doing to Australians and what to do about it?, sets out clearly the aims of the book. In order to find out what is really happening in the lives of Australians Barbara Pocock has spoken to Australian workers and their partners about the impact of work on their lives. By drawing on these real and at times poignant stories she is able to frankly set out just what the current demands of the workplace are doing to us, our partners, our children and the communities we live in.

Pocock?s motivation in listening to the voices of workers and their partners is clearly articulated throughout the book. That is, in order to effectively bring about change policy makers need to have their eyes wide open to what is actually occurring. This book is not about presenting the world as we wish it to be, but rather how it is. In doing so Pocock lifts the debate beyond individual guilt, blame games and false gender divides. Pocock writes with insight, humour and uses language that is highly evocative. I loved the way she cast those who promote the false mother-wars between those in paid employment and those not as salacious voyeurs of the ?mud wrestle? that ensues between the two groups of women.

In describing the effect that work is having on our relationships Pocock uses the language of the market to ask what ?price are we paying?? and ?what is the cost?? Through the stories of the respondents the book highlights the cost to community, intimacy, relationships, children and career. It is appropriate that Pocock uses the language of the market to describe what is happening in Australian families because while decision makers in organisations appear blind to social change and cling to workplace policies and practice predicated on an unrealistic ?ideal? worker, markets are alive to the changes that have been occurring. Her book outlines the growing marketisation of care, food and social life ? even sex.

I found the chapters that highlight how the influence of consumer markets and consumption patterns help drive the imbalance between paid work and other areas of our life particularly interesting. This area of analysis is often overlooked perhaps because we find the challenge to our materialism too confronting. Pocock clearly shows expenditure, consumption, over-consumption and debt patterns add new impetus to the work-earn-consume cycle that partially drives the increased commitment to market work. These work-earn-consume cycle locks us into lives we know are acutely out of balance. The imbalance and the feelings of guilt (particularly it seems for mothers) it engenders lead to further spending as we seek to make up for the time we do not have to spend with our children and others we care for by buying them ?stuff?. As Pocock (2003: 97) argues, ?links between mothering, guilt and consumption are fine friends for the market and capitalism?. This book maps the remarkable change that has occurred in demographics and caring responsibilities over the last 25 years in Australia and sets it against the paucity of change in government regulation and company policy during the same period. Most startling for me is the lack of change in the area of leave arrangements.

Pocock shows how there has been no significant advances in the days of leave available through the legislative system for the bulk of employees since the unpaid maternity leave decision of 1979. She suggests a raft of leave provisions are needed to assist workers to balance their dual roles as workers and carers, including; paid maternity leave, paternity leave, parental leave and carers leave. She also promotes the idea of a general leave bank built on the long service leave tradition that is portable between employers. Pocock also picks up on the idea promoted by Juliet Schor in her book, The Overworked American, where workers could take any pay increments as time not money. While this idea may appeal to time strapped workers it would require a reversal of a trend identified by the Australian Centre for Industrial Relations Research and Teaching (ACCIRT) over the past few years where workers have been trading their leave arrangements for extra dollars. This trading off of leave by already time poor workers is most likely a consequence of the work-earn-consume cycle and increasing levels of personal debt.

In this book Pocock thinks concretely and creatively about how to avoid the work/life collision and create balance in our lives. It is an immensely practical book that is about finding out what is really going on and presenting real solutions. The final chapter of the book offers guiding principles and elements for what Pocock calls a ?New Work/Care Regime?. The principles and elements encompass the need for both changing regulatory regimes and recognition that values around what it means to be a mother, a father, a carer has changed. Pocock is not setting herself up as someone with all the answers, rather, through this book she is calling for a ?deeper and more deliberate community conversation about our values, actions, and options in a world that is increasingly dominated by paid work and where we use money to buy all kinds of goods and care, and sometimes, even ? we hope ? love? (263). It is a conversation we well need to have ? let?s get chatting ? anyone have time for a cup of tea?

Sawer, M, ed. 1996. Removal of the Commonwealth marriage bar: a documentary history. Canberra: Center for Research in Public Sector Management, University of Canberra.
REVIEW - section of Lynelle Briggs speech to mark the occasion: So what was the marriage bar? It simply meant that women had to resign as permanent officers when they got married. Although married women could continue to work as temporary employees, most left the workforce because in these temporary roles their opportunities were limited. Temporary employees were not allowed to supervise other staff and had limited access to superannuation. This meant women were generally on lower salaries than men and had limited independent financial means to support them in their retirement. Just as importantly, many intelligent, capable and skilled women were unable to use fully their valuable skills in employment.

We often talk today about the need to balance work and family life. Prior to 1966, women had similar but different, balancing acts. Many women took incredible risks to maintain both the jobs that they relied on for economic stability as well as their personal relationships. Some hid their marriages from employers for years, hiding their rings before they got to work. I applaud these women for working effectively while carefully monitoring every conversation in case they let the cat out of the bag. If the truth came out, they were forced to resign and sometimes suffered recriminations for being dishonest. Others chose to ?live in sin? and refrained from getting married at all. One of the most interesting accounts was of a woman who remained unmarried and bore four children. She managed this by timing her annual leave to cover the births. While her personnel area was cooperative in helping her achieve this, they forced her to resign as soon as she decided to make an honest man of her husband by marrying him.

Folbre, Nancy, 2002, The Invisible Heart - Economics and Family Values, The New Press: USA.
As the "invisible hand" of the free market and the competitive individualism it engenders increasingly dominate public life, contends UMass-Amherst economist and MacArthur fellow Folbre (Who Pays for the Kids?), we risk losing the other necessary component of a healthy society: "the invisible heart," a care system for children, the aged and the infirm. The market does not provide such support, and in the prescribed labor divisions of old, women fulfilled this need for little or no recompense. But now that women have begun to shuck off this enforced role, where, asks Folbre, will care come from? In seeking an answer, she delivers an incisive, informed social critique. Government, she contends, provides a bureaucratic hodgepodge of programs that serves few well and punishes the poor. Regressive taxation assures that some will be able to afford more care than others; unequal school funding guarantees some will become better educated than others. Corporations neglect social responsibilities in favor of the bottom line. In the end, Folbre concludes, we are all responsible for one another, but only radical changes in how we live and work democratic control of the economy, a dramatic redistribution of wealth and so on will strengthen the ethic of solidarity and reciprocity that is a prerequisite for such care. Folbre makes an important contribution to the discussion of what our society could be, and her humor and insight elevate her book above mere political diatribe.
Hakim, Catherine. 2000. Work-lifestyle choice in the 21st Century Preference Theory. Oxford Uni. Press.
In this pioneering work, Catherine Hakim presents the "Preference Theory," a new, multi-disciplinary philosophy for explaining and predicting current and future patterns for women choosing between family work and outside employment. It is the first theory developed specifically to explain women's behavior and choices, constituting a major break from male-oriented theorizing in sociology and economics. In fact, this text identifies five major historical changes that are collectively producing a new scenario for women in prosperous, 21st century societies.
Summers, Anne. 2003. The End of Equality: work, babies and women's choices in 21st century Australia. Milsons Point, Sydney: Random House.
REVIEW - Google Books: In 1975, Anne Summers groundbreaking book DAMNED WHORES AND GOD'S POLICE changed forever the way we thought about women and their place in Australian history and society. In 2003 Summers new book, THE END OF EQUALITY, promises to do for a new age and a new generation of women what DAMNED WHORES did for women in the 1970s and 80s. Prepare for the revolution! Among the most contentious issues Australia faces at the beginning of the 21st century is one that many thought had been dealt with in the 70s: the condition of Australian women. Debate still rages over their position in the workplace, their alleged failure to 'breed' sufficiently, their lack of true economic equality, and their inability to penetrate in any real numbers the proverbial glass ceilings in corporate and public life. What happened to the so-called feminist revolution? Why do most women feel exhausted and trapped? Is there real choice in women's lives today? Bestselling author of DAMNED WHORES AND GOD'S POLICE, Anne Summers blows this issue wide open in THE END OF EQUALITY, a work of formidable political and economic analysis, as well as a passionate and personal one. Threading through its pages are the voices and experiences of many Australian women of different ages and backgrounds. Their words, and Summer's startling conclusions, will shock, inspire and lead to a new revolution.


Copyright - Dr Joan Garvan -
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