Description : This volume is the firstborn of the Annals of Cultural Psychology a yearly edited book series in the field of Cultural Psychology. It came into being as there is a need for reflection on “where and what” the discipline needs to further develop, in such a way, the current frontiers and to foster the elaboration of new fruitful ideas. The topic chosen for the first volume is perhaps the most fundamental of all motherhood. We are all here because at some unspecifiable time in the past, different women labored hard to bring each of us into this World. These women were not thinking of culture, but were just giving birth. Yet by their reproductive success—and years of worry about our growing up—we are now, thankfully to them, in a position to discuss the general notion of motherhood from the angle of cultural psychology. Each person who is born needs a mother—first the real one, and then possibly a myriad of symbolic ones—from “my mother” to “mother superior” to “my motherland”. Thus, it is not by coincidence if the first volume of the series is about motherhood. We the editors feel it is the topic that links our existence with one of the universals of human survival as a species. In very general terms what this book aims to do is to question the ontology of Motherhood in favor of an ontogenetic approach to Life’s Course, where having a child represents a big transition in a woman’s trajectory and where becoming (or not becoming) mother is heuristically more interesting than being a mother. We here present a reticulated work that digs into a cultural phenomenon giving to the readers the clear idea of making motherhood (and not taking for granted motherhood). By looking at absences, shadows and ruptures rather than the normativeness of motherhood, cultural psychology can provide a theoretical model in explaining the cultural multifaceted nature of human activity.
Description : The purpose of this phenomenological study was to investigate the construction of motherhood of women raised by grandparents. The epistemological framework of Women’s Ways of Knowing provided the theoretical perspective, and the concept of ego development added descriptive depth. Seven mothers who identified as having been raised primarily by one or more grandparents were recruited for the study. Data collection consisted of one semi-structured interview and the shortened version of the Washington Sentence Completion Test (WUSCT-81) to assess ego development. Questions this study sought to answer were: What does it mean to be a mother who was raised by a grandparent? Sub-questions were: What themes within the meaning-making of women raised by grandparents may contribute to perceptions of motherhood? What are the influences of gender, culture, and social class in the development of perceptions of motherhood by women raised by grandparents? What is the relationship between the participant’s level of ego development and her perceptions of motherhood? The following themes emerged through this inductive study: unselfish motherhood; hindered belonging; generational incongruence; a la carte motherhood models; level of perceived support; and reflective gratitude. Implications for future research, Counselor Education and Supervision, and Family Counseling are discussed, as are limitations of the study.
Description : A moving, cross-national account of working mothers’ daily lives—and the revolution in public policy and culture needed to improve them The work-family conflict that mothers experience today is a national crisis. Women struggle to balance breadwinning with the bulk of parenting, and stress is constant. Social policies don’t help. Of all Western industrialized countries, the United States ranks dead last for supportive work-family policies: No federal paid parental leave. The highest gender wage gap. No minimum standard for vacation and sick days. The highest maternal and child poverty rates. Can American women look to European policies for solutions? Making Motherhood Work draws on interviews that sociologist Caitlyn Collins conducted over five years with 135 middle-class working mothers in Sweden, Germany, Italy, and the United States. She explores how women navigate work and family given the different policy supports available in each country. Taking readers into women’s homes, neighborhoods, and workplaces, Collins shows that mothers’ desires and expectations depend heavily on context. In Sweden—renowned for its gender-equal policies—mothers assume they will receive support from their partners, employers, and the government. In the former East Germany, with its history of mandated employment, mothers don’t feel conflicted about working, but some curtail their work hours and ambitions. Mothers in western Germany and Italy, where maternalist values are strong, are stigmatized for pursuing careers. Meanwhile, American working mothers stand apart for their guilt and worry. Policies alone, Collins discovers, cannot solve women’s struggles. Easing them will require a deeper understanding of cultural beliefs about gender equality, employment, and motherhood. With women held to unrealistic standards in all four countries, the best solutions demand that we redefine motherhood, work, and family. Making Motherhood Work vividly demonstrates that women need not accept their work-family conflict as inevitable.
Description : A pioneer of modern motherhood studies, Andrea O'Reilly explores motherhood's current representation and practice, considering developments that were unimaginable decades ago: the Internet, interracial surrogacy, raising transchildren, male mothering, intensive mothering, queer parenting, the applications of new biotechnologies, and mothering in the post-9/11 era. Her work pulls together a range of disciplines and themes in motherhood studies. She confronts the effects of globalization, HIV/AIDS, welfare reform, politicians as mothers, third wave feminism, and the evolving motherhood movement, and she incorporates Chicana, African-American, Canadian, Muslim, queer, low-income, trans, and lesbian perspectives.
Description : Annotation Making Modern Mothers is an anthropological account of changing ideas about gender and fertility control in contemporary urban Greece.
Description : Based on interviews with pregnant women, this book provides a multi-disciplinary empirical account of pregnant embodiment and how it relates to wider sociological and feminist discourses about gender, bodies, 'fitness', 'fat', celebrity and motherhood.
Description : The book provides a new look at the everyday relationship between psychological processes and extraordinary aspects of ordinary phenomena. Why should we deal with ordinary things? People’s life is made of everyday practical, taken-for-granted things, such as driving a car, using money, listening music, etc. When you drive from home to workplace, you are migrating between contexts. Is this an empty space you are crossing, or the time you spend into the car is something meaningful? In psychological terms, things have, at least, three levels of existence, a material, a symbolic and an affective one. The underlying idea is that the symbolic elaboration of everyday things is characterized by the transcendence of the particular object-sign, leading to the creation of more and more complex sign fields. These fields expand according to an inclusive logic up to dialogically and dialectically incorporate opposites (i.e. clean/dirty, transparent/opaque, hide/ show, join/divide, slow/fast, etc.). Even the meaning of “ordinary” and “extraordinary” follow such an inclusive logic: if you give a positive value to ordinary, extraordinary is rule-breaking; otherwise, if ordinary means trivial, extraordinary assumes a positive value. Besides, things are cultural artifacts mediating the experience of the world, the psychological processes and the construction of mind. Reflecting upon “things” is thus a more meaningful pathway to understand Psyche.
Description : Sophie Freud— author, teacher, social worker, mother, daughter, and grand-daughter of Sigmund Freud—here offers, for the first time, a candid portrait of her struggles in her own life. Blessed and cursed with the legacy of a famous family, Dr. Freud has negotiated her way from a blissful childhood in Vienna, to Paris, to Radcliff College, to her present-day life as on one of the most respected teachers in her field. My Three Mothers and Other Passions is a remarkable story about a remarkable woman, and Dr. Freud explores with us openly and engagingly the many experiences of her life.
Description : What does motherhood mean today? Drawing on interviews with new mothers and intergenerational chains of women in the same family, this exciting and timely book documents the transition to motherhood over generations and time. Exploring, amongst other things, the trend to later motherhood and the experience of teenage pregnancy, a compelling picture emerges. Becoming a mother is not only a profound moment of identity change but also a site of socio-economic difference that shapes women's lives.
Description : Despite pioneering studies, the term 'romance novel' itself has not been subjected to scrutiny. This book examines mass-market romance fiction in the U.K., Canada, and the U.S. through four categories: capitalism, war, heterosexuality, and white Protestantism and casts a fresh light on the genre.