Motherhood and Maternity
Motherhood In Academia And National Policy
Although millions of women in the world become mothers, motherhood generally is not regarded in academia as a core issue relating to society and the nation-state. Some universities, such as York University in Ontario, Canada, are beginning to study motherhood as an academic discipline, yet much of the research looks at the psychological and sociological aspects. Feminists argue that if motherhood is viewed as a historical experience, it will be evident that it is shaped not just by personal experiences and desires but also by public policy in which the nation-state plays a significant role.
From the discussion above, which draws upon the heritage, traditions, literature, and art from various cultures, it may not be far-fetched to suggest that the failure of institutionalized religions to give women a visible and valid role has traditionally led many women to seek dignity and self-respect, salvation and status, in society through birthing and motherhood, a role and path unique to them. In the new millennium, however, the emerging reality, especially in the industrialized countries, is of a falling birth rate. As millions of women join the global workforce, as more and more women gain control over their lives and bodies, and as motherhood becomes one of many acceptable identities and choices, it would seem that fewer women become mothers (and those that do raise fewer children). The birth rate in Japan has been falling steadily since the 1970s. On average, the first postwar generation had four children, and the second, two. Trends in Europe are also alarming. Such statistical projections are causing concern to government planners and national policy-makers in many countries. If women increasingly begin to feel that the challenges outweigh the "joys of motherhood," demographers may well predict for the rapidly industrializing world a future of restructured family norms, labor shortages, fewer taxpayers to support a rapidly aging society, and fewer caregivers for the elderly.
Badinter, Elisabeth. The Myth of Motherhood. Translated by Roger Degaris. London: Souvenir Press, 1981.
Baruch, Elaine Hoffmann, Amadeo F. D'Adamo, Jr., and Joni Seager, eds. Embryos, Ethics, and Women's Rights: Exploring the New Reproductive Technologies. New York: Haworth Press, 1988.
Beauvoir, Simone de. The Second Sex. Translated by H. M. Parshley. New York: Knopf, 1952.
Berg, Allison. Mothering the Race: Women's Narratives of Reproduction, 1890–1930. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2002.
Copeland, Rebecca. "Motherhood as Institution." Japan Quarterly 39, no. 1 (1992): 101–110.
Chodorow, Nancy. The Reproduction of Mothering: Psychoanalysis and the Sociology of Gender. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1978.
Doer, Edd, and James Prescott, eds. Abortion Rights and Fetal Personhood. Long Beach, Calif.: Centerline Press, 1989.
Hirsch, Marianne. The Mother-Daughter Plot: Narrative, Psychoanalysis, Feminism. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1989.
Lewin, Ellen. Lesbian Mothers: Accounts of Gender in American Culture. Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press, 1993.
Luker, Kristin. Abortion and the Politics of Motherhood. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1984.
McMahon, Martha. Engendering Motherhood: Identity and Self-Transformation in Women's Lives. New York: Guilford Press, 1995.
Narayan, Uma. Dislocating Cultures: Identities, Traditions, and Third-World Feminism. New York: Routledge, 1997.
Oyewumi, Oyeronke, ed. African Women and Feminism: Reflecting on the Politics of Sisterhood. Trenton, N.J.: Africa World Press, 2003.
Parker, Rozsika. Mother Love/Mother Hate: The Power of Maternal Ambivalence. New York: Basic Books, 1995.
Ram, Kalpana, and Margaret Jolly, eds. Maternities and Modernities: Colonial and Postcolonial Experiences in Asia and the Pacific. Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 1998.
Rich, Adrienne. Of Woman Born: Motherhood as Experience and Institution. New York: Norton, 1976.
Sanger, Margaret. Woman and the New Race. New York: Brentano's, 1920.
Sawicki, Jana. Disciplining Foucault: Feminism, Power, and the Body. New York: Routledge, 1991.
Smart, Carol, ed. Regulating Womanhood: Historical Essays on Marriage, Motherhood, and Sexuality. London: Routledge, 1992.
Trebilcot, Joyce, ed. Mothering: Essays in Feminist Theory. Totowa, N.J.: Rowman and Allanheld, 1984.
Maina Chawla Singh
- Motherhood and Maternity - Bibliography
- Motherhood and Maternity - Contemporary Redefinitions: Single And Lesbian Mothers
- Other Free Encyclopedias
Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Molecular distillation to My station and its duties:Motherhood and Maternity - History, Religion, And Myth, Feminist Critiques, Motherhood And Development Discourses, Contentious Debates