Measuring Mothering

Abstract
As a culture, we have a tendency to measure motherhood in terms of a set of signal moments that have become the focus of special social attention and anxiety; we interpret these as emblematic summations of women's mothering abilities. Women's performances during these moments can seem to exhaust the story of mothering, and mothers often internalize these measures and evaluate their own mothering in terms of them. "Good" mothers are those who pass a series of tests—they bond properly during their routine ultrasound screening, they do not let a sip of alcohol cross their lips during pregnancy, they give birth vaginally without pain medication, they do not offer their child an artificial nipple during the first six months, they feed their children maximally nutritious meals with every bite, and so on. This reductive understanding of mothering has had counterproductive effects upon health care practice and policy, encouraging measures that penalize mothers who do not live up to cultural norms during signal moments, while failing to promote extended narratives of healthy mothering.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
Options
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
 
Download options
PhilPapers Archive


Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 10,316
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Citations of this work BETA
Similar books and articles
Naomi Zack (2009). No More Mothers? Social Philosophy Today 25:17-30.
Annie L. Booth (2008). Beyond Mothering Earth. Environmental Ethics 30 (1):109-110.
Analytics

Monthly downloads

Added to index

2011-05-29

Total downloads

23 ( #71,011 of 1,096,481 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #238,630 of 1,096,481 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature


Discussion
Start a new thread
Order:
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.