Skip to main content

'Just what kind of mother are you?' : neoliberal guilt and privatised maternal responsibility in recent domestic crime fiction

Cain, Ruth (2016) 'Just what kind of mother are you?' : neoliberal guilt and privatised maternal responsibility in recent domestic crime fiction. In: Garrett, Roberta and Jensen, Tracey and Voela, Angie, eds. We need to talk about family: Essays on neoliberalism, the family and popular culture. Cambridge Scholars, Newcastle, UK, pp. 289-313. ISBN 978-1-4438-9529-3. E-ISBN 978-1-4438-9914-7. (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided)

PDF
Restricted to Repository staff only
Contact us about this Publication Download (515kB)
[img]
MS Office Open XML (OOXML)
Restricted to Repository staff only
Contact us about this Publication Download (80kB)
[img]
Official URL
https://www.cambridgescholars.com/we-need-to-talk-...

Abstract

Book: We are the first generation in recent history to not know if our children will have a better life than us. Over the past thirty years, the dream of upward mobility and stable and securely paid employment has dissipated. This collection draws together insights from the disciplines of cultural studies, literary theory, psychoanalysis, psychosocial studies, social policy and sociology, in order to explore the complex and contested status of “the family” under neoliberalism. At one end of the spectrum, the intensification of work and the normalisation of long-hours working culture have undermined the time and energy available for private family life. At the other end, the fantasy of the nuclear family as a potential “haven in a heartless world” is rapidly unravelling, supplanted with a hypercompetitive, neo-traditionalist, mobile, neoliberal family seeking to capitalise on the uneven spread of resources in order to maximise the futures of its own children. As neoliberalism has always been split between socio-economic realities and the expectations of where we “should” be, we are always living with the anxiety of being left behind and the hope that the best is yet to come. The chapters in this collection signal the troubles of the neoliberal family: in particular, the gulf between the practical conditions of family life and the formation of new fantasies. The volume addresses the neoliberal family in a range of contexts: from the domestic, reproductive and bio-political regulation of family life, the representations of the neoliberal family on television and across social media, to the negotiation of family dynamics in maternal memoirs. The work provides a much-needed corrective to the critical emphasis on the macrostructures of the neoliberal world.

Item Type: Book section
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Women
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
K Law > K Law (General)
P Language and Literature > PR English literature
Divisions: Faculties > Social Sciences > Kent Law School > Centre for Law, Gender and Sexuality
Depositing User: Ruth Cain
Date Deposited: 22 Apr 2015 10:06 UTC
Last Modified: 19 Dec 2019 11:18 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/48032 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
  • Depositors only (login required):

Downloads

Downloads per month over past year