“Parenting Like a White Person”: Race and Maternal Support Among Marginalized Mothers

Marginalized Mothers, Mothering from the Margins

ISBN: 978-1-78756-400-8, eISBN: 978-1-78756-399-5

ISSN: 1529-2126

Publication date: 15 November 2018


In this chapter, we use feminist and intersectional frameworks to explore how marginalized mothers discuss maternal support. In-depth interviews with an economically diverse group of 21 mothers of color suggest that most affluent, married Black mothers framed support as child-centric and engaged in concerted cultivation (Lareau, 2011) practices. Lower income, single Black mothers engaged in a strategy we call “nurtured growth” – they used low-cost school, church, and community-based resources to promote their children’s development. In contrast to these child-centric strategies of support, three mothers used mother-centric supports and practiced self-care. The families of these three mothers, however, often criticized their parenting efforts as “parenting like a White person.” The authors conclude by exploring the implications of our study for feminist outreach efforts on behalf of marginalized mothers.



Crane, C. and Christopher, K. (2018), "“Parenting Like a White Person”: Race and Maternal Support Among Marginalized Mothers", Taylor, T. and Bloch, K. (Ed.) Marginalized Mothers, Mothering from the Margins (Advances in Gender Research, Vol. 25), Emerald Publishing Limited, pp. 177-193. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1529-212620180000025011

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