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Achieving respectable motherhood? exploring the impossibility of feminist and egalitarian ideologies against the everyday realities of lived Welsh working-class femininities

Mannay, Dawn 2014. Achieving respectable motherhood? exploring the impossibility of feminist and egalitarian ideologies against the everyday realities of lived Welsh working-class femininities. Women's Studies International Forum 53 , pp. 159-166. 10.1016/j.wsif.2014.10.020

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Abstract

This paper explores the tensions between post-feminist discourses of freedom and the everyday negotiation of feminised identities in private and public spaces, focusing on mothers residing in a marginalised locale in urban south Wales, UK. Applying the lens of gender to examine and foreground the place of ‘choice’ in mothers’ lives, the paper works with visual and narrative accounts of the negotiation of acceptable motherhood. The paper argues that despite a pervasive rhetoric of agency and equality, the practice and performance of motherhood continues to operate within asymmetrical gendered and classed spaces, inside the confines of respectable femininity. Challenging the concept of new motherhood, where women are led to believe that they can maintain the status of breadwinner, domestic goddess and primary care giver, the paper theorises agency as operating within the impossibility of unachievable ideals.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
D History General and Old World > DA Great Britain
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
N Fine Arts > N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
Uncontrolled Keywords: Agency, Class, Gender, Motherhood, Poetry, Respectability, Qualitative Research, Visual Methods.
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0277-5395
Funders: Economic and Social Research Council
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Date of Acceptance: 24 October 2014
Last Modified: 20 Feb 2019 14:30
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/67991

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  • Achieving respectable motherhood? exploring the impossibility of feminist and egalitarian ideologies against the everyday realities of lived Welsh working-class femininities. (deposited 04 Dec 2014 11:33) [Currently Displayed]

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