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Mothering and motherhood lec and gl assignment.docx

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Social Science
SOSC 1000
Terry Conlin

Mothering and motherhood 7/28/2013 8:26:00 PM Ideologies and Practices of ―good‖ Motherhood From the 1800s to the Present Mothering Versus Motherhood The invention of Motherhood: From agriculture to Urbanization WW2 and Beyond: The Privatization of Motherhood as Full-Time Mothering 1990s and Beyond: Intensive Mothering: Emerging from Neo-Liberalism and as a Backlash to Feminism What is a good mother? Heterosexual, White, Middle class, Sexless, Fit, Able-bodied This image is culturally invented, not natural, not inevitable, it is not a given. What we mean by ―mothering‖ is culturally determined What a good mother was in 18th century- would be charged with child- abuse, negligent etc- Image has changed dramatically over time. What causes it to change? The meaning of good motherhood changes as a result to significant transformation in her societal, economical environment. Adrienne Rich- 1976 2 meanings of motherhood Mothering- experience of mothering Motherhood- institution that says how mothers should be How has the institution caused the ―mother‖ to change? If institution effects what motherhood means- it is not inevitable/natural, but can be changed, have different meanings. We can mother against motherhood- move from motherhood to mothering. Agricultural, pre-industrial society: What it meant to be a good mother- rural communities in Europe Traits of a good mother: no public/private split- prior to industrialization- they would work from home- same physical space. Grow their own food, make their own clothing, raise their own meat- did not buy everything- productive unit. Not a cash economy but work took place at home. Husbands and wives were equally important and active- economic producers alongside their husbands. In such an economy- mothers did not have time for motherhood – 15/16 years- half of them would live to adulthood- she would be constantly having children She has work to do- her labour is needed elsewhere- who is minding the children? Age appropriate kids would also be doing some work- eggs, wood. The little ones (4-) were watched by an older sibling, elderly parent. Mothers did not raise their own children- someone else was. Unlike today where having someone else look at your kids is looked down upon One custom that was very common- practice of swaddle their infants and hang them in trees- (that’s where the Rockaby baby lullaby came from). Wet-nursing was common- women would have a baby- could be any age. Aristocracies- the nurse would come live with them. Wet nurses- poor women- watched all the kids from the village (till they are 2)- non-hygienic conditions, many babies died- and mothers knew that before sending them off. Industrial era- Industrial revolution’s effect on motherhood- work gets taken out of the home- public and private sphere- gradual but happened everywhere. Huge migration to cities- farmers moved to the city Importance of class division middle class- leave the farm behind and go to a house- the man would go out to work for paid wage- they buy the things they used to produce themselves. Why does the woman not go to work? Why was she the one left behind? It was a patriarchal culture- against the law to go get a job. Could not get an education/ training- not available to women until mid/late-1800s Class becomes an issue- very few jobs that a ―lady‖ could do- not in a factory- prior to marriage you could be a governess, writers- after marriage- she could not be anything but the mans wife. 1950s Australia- if you were teacher- upon marriage you were fired. With the rise of industrialization- woman becomes weak and passive (after being in the domestic realm) good, chaste, subsurbian, irrational (men aggressive strong, intellectual, rational) !9thcentury europe- middle class- Romanticised for being a ―good mother‖ th but not doing any work- Identity of motherhood was invented in 19 century – were still not doing work of mothering- servants, slaves- cook, laundress, wet-nurse, teachers, nurse-maid etc. She was preparation of self (3/4 hours to dress up)- and keeping up her image of leisure- visiting etc. Volunteerism- helping the poor- working for homeless children etc. Working class women- Did not go to a house- had to work alongside her husband- gone to the factories etc
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