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Title: Travails with motherhood : auto-ethnographic exploration of being a mother
Other Titles: SOCIAL TRENDS Vol. 7, 31 March 2020, p 181-191
Authors: Chatterjee, Ananya
Keywords: Autoethnography
Issue Date: 31-Mar-2020
Publisher: University of North Bengal
Abstract: Motherhood is as much as a sociological as a biological and physiological construct. Each and every human society has its values, ideas, duties and responsibilities attached to mothering and motherhood. Even though the concept of family is changing with the emergence of alternative forms to traditional patriarchal family, the raising of children is still perceived to be the sole responsibility of the mother. The expectation that women will become mothers, forms part of the normative discourses governing motherhood which construct women’s sexuality and identity through their reproductive function. Cultural representations of the idealised and sometimes “yummy” mummy (middle class, attractive, healthy, sexy and heterosexual) contrast with depictions of ‘bad’ mothers proliferate in the popular press. The ideal mother is constructed as selfless, nurturing, subsuming their own needs to attend to their children’s demands. The motherhood experience of the working mothers often deviates from the dominant model of motherhood. In their experience of alternative motherhood, they are often marginalised in their family and close kin circle which holds on to the patriarchal definition of motherhood. In this autoethnographic essay I have explored how my experience of motherhood has redefined my identity of mother while passing through a course of negotiations and conflicts with the idealized standards.
ISSN: 2348-6538
Appears in Collections:Vol. 07 (March 2020)

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