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Mothering as Identity-Work: Long-Term Breastfeeding and Intensive Motherhood

Faircloth, Charlotte (2009) Mothering as Identity-Work: Long-Term Breastfeeding and Intensive Motherhood. Anthropology News, 50 (2). pp. 15-17. ISSN 1541-6151. (doi:10.1111/j.1556-3502.2009.50215.x) (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:36376)

The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided. (Contact us about this Publication)
Official URL
http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1556-3502.2009.50215.x

Abstract

This article argues for an anthropological engagement with parenting as “identity-work” in a bid to extend parenting studies beyond the more traditional focus on kinship, and also expand what “kinship” might mean to anthropologists. That is, it proposes a deeper exploration of how relatedness is enacted in conjunction with constructions of the self. Attention to identity- work—in this case the narrative processes of self-making that parents engage in as they raise their children—is borne of an argument that for a certain strata of parents in the UK, the word “parent” has shifted from a noun denoting a relationship with a child (something you are), to a verb (something you do). As Hays notes in The Cultural Contradictions of Motherhood (1996), “ideal” parenting is financially, physically and emotionally intensive, and parents are encouraged to spend a large amount of time, energy and money in raising their children. Further, as Lee and Bristow argue in the forthcoming volume Individual Freedom, Autonomy and the State, parenting is now an occupation in which adults (most typically, mothers) are expected to be emotionally absorbed and become personally fulfilled.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1111/j.1556-3502.2009.50215.x
Subjects: H Social Sciences
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > School of Social Policy Sociology and Social Research
Depositing User: Mita Mondal
Date Deposited: 14 Nov 2013 11:35 UTC
Last Modified: 29 May 2019 11:21 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/36376 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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