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Article
Publication date: 8 July 2014

Nollaig Frost and Amanda Holt

– The purpose of this paper is to discuss the ways in which a researcher's maternal status as “mother” or “non-mother/child-free” is implicated in the research process.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to discuss the ways in which a researcher's maternal status as “mother” or “non-mother/child-free” is implicated in the research process.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper draws on the experiences as two feminist researchers who each independently researched experiences of motherhood: one as a “mother” and one as a “non-mother/child-free”. The paper draws on extracts from the original interview data and research diaries to reflect on how research topic, methodology and interview practice are shaped by a researcher's maternal status.

Findings

The paper found that the own maternal identities shaped the research process in a number of ways: it directed the research topic and access to research participants; it drove the method of data collection and analysis and it shaped how the authors interacted with the participants in the interview setting, notably through the performance of maternal identity. The paper concludes by examining how pervasive discourses of “good motherhood” are both challenged and reproduced by a researcher's maternal status and question the implications of this for feminist research.

Originality/value

While much has been written about researcher “positionality” and the impact of researcher identity on the research process, the ways in which a researcher's “maternal status” is implicated in the research process has been left largely unexamined. Yet, as this paper highlights, the interaction of the often-conflicting identities of “mother”, “researcher”, “feminist” and “woman” may shape the research process in subtle yet profound ways, raising important questions about the limits of what feminist social research about “motherhood” can achieve.

Details

Qualitative Research Journal, vol. 14 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1443-9883

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Book part
Publication date: 16 September 2020

Lucy Baldwin

In recent years, the topic of maternal imprisonment has experienced a significantly raised profile, generating new knowledge and understanding surrounding the impact of…

Abstract

In recent years, the topic of maternal imprisonment has experienced a significantly raised profile, generating new knowledge and understanding surrounding the impact of maternal imprisonment on mothers and their children (Baldwin, 2015, 2017, 2018; Baldwin & Epstein, 2017; Booth, 2017; Lockwood, 2017, 2018; Masson, 2019). However, the long-term impact of maternal imprisonment and subsequent resettlement, particularly in relation to maternal identity and emotion, is less well-researched or understood. This chapter, drawing on the authors research from across two projects with 46 post imprisoned mothers, highlights the significant impact, as described by the mothers, on their reintegration into their families and the persistent pains of maternal imprisonment. Mothers sometimes, decades post release, describe their ongoing trauma at being separated from their children, sometimes permanently. Those who remain in their children's lives describe how they feel ‘tainted’, ‘watched’, ‘judged’ and ‘permanently changed by their imprisonment’. For the mothers in the study who were also grandmothers, the effects appeared magnified, producing what grandmothers described as ‘layers of shame’. The chapter describes how this change, often negative perception of themselves as mothers, can interplay with mothers' ability to engage in rehabilitative processes and ultimately their desistance.

The chapter concludes with recommendations to avoid, wherever possible, the criminalisation of mothers, resulting in fewer imprisonments. In the event of imprisonment, greater consideration must be afforded to maternal experience and emotions. To maximise success, early resettlement work, starting within and continuing through the prison gates is essential. Failure to do so may impact negatively on mothers' themselves and their ability to engage in rehabilitative planning/supervision and therefore desistance, which will ultimately broaden the impact to their children and wider society.

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Article
Publication date: 2 September 2019

Susan Kirk

The purpose of this paper is to explore the interplay between identity and global mobility in the careers of senior, female talent, uniquely taking into account the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the interplay between identity and global mobility in the careers of senior, female talent, uniquely taking into account the perceptions of both female and male participants. In addition, the role organisations can play in enabling women to overcome these identity constraints is identified.

Design/methodology/approach

This interpretivist study draws on data from 38 in-depth interviews with senior managers in a large, multinational organisation to elicit a rich picture of how such careers are enacted.

Findings

Findings reveal how identity conflicts function as a glass border for globally mobile, senior female talent. Ways in which talent can access positive identity narratives to inform global mobility choices are identified.

Research limitations/implications

The limitations of this study include the relatively small sample size and the single case design of this research. The findings, however, offer insights into the identity work of globally mobile, female talent across different contexts.

Practical implications

Organisations can facilitate access to identity narratives through mentoring, face-to-face forums and via the internet to enable globally mobile, female talent to make more informed global mobility choices.

Originality/value

Drawing on identity theory, this paper examines how identity work for globally mobile, female talent has more fluid interpersonal boundaries than for men, creating on-going identity struggles. In highlighting how identity narratives can act as a means of breaching the glass border and facilitating global mobility for female talent, a contribution is made to existing debates in the fields of identity, gender studies and global talent management.

Details

Journal of Global Mobility: The Home of Expatriate Management Research, vol. 7 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2049-8799

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Article
Publication date: 18 May 2015

Claude-Hélène Mayer

The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate insights into the identity construction and development of a selected single male individual in Cape Town, South Africa. It…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate insights into the identity construction and development of a selected single male individual in Cape Town, South Africa. It aims at increasing the in-depth understanding of the complexities of identity construction in a transcultural setting and provides emic perspectives on a micro-individual level over a period of ten years.

Design/methodology/approach

This research study is based on the post-modernist premise by considering phenomenological and interpretative paradigms most relevant. It is a longitudinal study, conducted with a single individual over a period of ten years by using various research methods as well as triangulation of methods, theories and data. Data were analysed through content analysis.

Findings

This research provides in-depth information on the struggle of a single person to construct and re-construct his identity and find answers to the question “Who am I?” in the multifaceted and hypercomplex transcultural environment of Cape Town. It shows the attempts to developing a coherent multiple identity over a period of ten years, reconstructing the past, creating the present and envisioning the future.

Practical implications

This research has practical implications for practitioners working with identity (development) in transcultural settings. It provides important in-depth information on “nomadic identities” for coaching, counselling or therapies in transcultural settings.

Originality/value

This paper provides new and original insights into long-term identity development of an individual in a transcultural urban space.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. 34 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

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Abstract

Around 7% of the female prison population are pregnant (Albertson, O'Keeffe, Lessing-Turner, Burke & Renfrew, 2014; Kennedy, Marshall, Parkinson, Delap, & Abbott, 2016; Prison Reform Trust, 2019). However, although recent years have witnessed growing academic interest in relation to mothering and imprisonment, limited attention has been paid to exploring the experiences of pregnancy for women serving a custodial sentence. Combining health and criminological research, this chapter offers a unique perspective of women's accounts of pregnancy and imprisonment, highlighting the specific challenges faced by pregnant women in negotiating the prison environment, whilst also illustrating the adaptive strategies adopted to cope with pregnancy and new motherhood in the context of imprisonment.

Details

Mothering from the Inside
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78973-344-0

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Book part
Publication date: 15 November 2018

Alanna E. F. Rudzik

The “moral panic” generated by public response to teenage mothering marginalizes the experiences of young women as mothers, with adolescent pregnancy viewed as…

Abstract

The “moral panic” generated by public response to teenage mothering marginalizes the experiences of young women as mothers, with adolescent pregnancy viewed as catastrophic for young women, their families, and society. In this analysis, focused on the experience of a group of teen women from the city of São Paulo, Brazil, the author explores how the integration of a maternal identity, shaped by Brazilian norms of “good motherhood,” with previously existing identities might lead to new aspirations and ambitions for the future or to hopelessness and despair.

Visions of the future were shaped by individual women’s structural circumstances and fell into four rough groups. Well-established adult women expressed their maternal identity through personal ambition, revealing confidence in their ability to provide “the best” for their children. Some adolescent mothers were fortunate enough to be buffered by family resources so that optimistic objectives for the future that pre-dated the pregnancy remained fairly attainable and were compatible with a “good mother” identity. For teens from less well-off families, motherhood resulted in a new-found determination to succeed in school and work, in line with ideals of Brazilian “good mothering” that focus on working hard to benefit one’s children. Women from the poorest households could or would not conjure a vision of the future, faced with the overwhelming challenges of their circumstances. The detailed, longitudinal qualitative data analyzed here reveal how the construction of maternal identity and visions of the future among adolescent mothers are shaped by the embodied experience of motherhood and pre-existing structural forces.

Details

Marginalized Mothers, Mothering from the Margins
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-400-8

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Article
Publication date: 13 November 2017

Michal Gross Spector and Rachel Gali Cinamon

The purpose of this paper is to expand our understanding about the way women shape their career decisions during their transition to motherhood, through the exploration…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to expand our understanding about the way women shape their career decisions during their transition to motherhood, through the exploration process, its facilitating factors and outcomes.

Design/methodology/approach

A longitudinal, quantitative method was used to investigate the vocational and maternal exploration processes. Workplace, spousal and family support served as facilitating factors, and vocational decisions and well-being as outcomes. Participants were 326 Israeli women during their transition to motherhood.

Findings

SEM analysis revealed a good model fit to the data. Workplace support had a positive effect on maternal exploration. Increased maternal exploration was positively associated with keeping working patterns before motherhood, and negatively associated with well-being.

Research limitations/implications

The sample of the current study was limited to highly educated Israeli working women.

Practical implications

The results of the current study can serve career counselors policymakers and organizations in their efforts to encourage first-time mothers to retain their paid work patterns by supporting maternal exploration through creating family-friendly policies.

Originality/value

The current findings have demonstrated that social support factors contribute to the enhancement of the exploration process also in later developmental stages. Furthermore, these findings showed differential effects of managerial support on maternal exploration and vocational exploration.

Details

Career Development International, vol. 22 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1362-0436

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Book part
Publication date: 20 September 2014

Noa Milman

Taking an intersectional approach, this chapter makes a theoretical and empirical contribution to the study of mothers’ movements in the context of social welfare cutbacks…

Abstract

Taking an intersectional approach, this chapter makes a theoretical and empirical contribution to the study of mothers’ movements in the context of social welfare cutbacks in Israel. I argue that the political use of the maternal identity provides an important cultural resource to women’s social movements, yet all women cannot access this advantage equally. By adding an intersectional perspective to the literature on women’s movements and media debates, this empirical study shows that the ability of different groups of women to politically mobilize their maternal identity in the news is impacted by their class and racial backgrounds. I focus on Israel as an ambiguous case that reflects both the political relevance of maternal identity as mobilized by different political actors, as well as the intersectional dynamics of marginalization of women’s movements within contentious media debates about austerity policies. Using critical discourse analysis, I analyzed 268 newspaper articles that discuss the Israeli Single Mothers’ Movement, a welfare rights movement of low-income women of color (Mizrahi). I find two competing frames converging across the newspapers analyzed: the first draws on a nationalist discourse of the “mother of the nation” to present a positive image of a heroic “mothers’ movement”; the second draws on racist and sexist images to negatively frame activists as a “Mizrahi movement” of undeserving poor mothers. I show how the contested construction of the Single Mothers’ Movement in the news media is directly connected to hegemonic Israeli discourse on motherhood and ethnicity, and demonstrate how this shapes the movement’s public image and its political and feminist value.

Details

Intersectionality and Social Change
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-105-3

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 1 January 1970

Suphawadee Panthumas, Wirin Kittipichai, Kanittha Chamroonsawasdi and Pimsurang Taechaboonsermsak

Maternal identity (MI) is the attainment of maternal role adaptation. Though the role of the motherhood is expected to be achieved, teenagers, who are still developing…

Abstract

Purpose

Maternal identity (MI) is the attainment of maternal role adaptation. Though the role of the motherhood is expected to be achieved, teenagers, who are still developing their personal identity, do not always clearly identify or align with their role of motherhood. The purpose of this paper is to determine the structural relationship among a set of variables, infant temperament (IT), strain (ST), social support (SS), self-esteem (SE) and balanced family functioning (BF) influencing MI and to test the model using the empirical data.

Design/methodology/approach

A cross-sectional survey was conducted among 353 primiparous Thai teenagers of infants aged 4–12 months. A self-administered questionnaire comprised six scales with Cronbach’s α coefficients ranging from 0.81 to 0.93. The structural equation modeling method was employed to test the validity of the model undertaken using Mplus Software.

Findings

The model fit the empirical data well (χ2/df=2.17, CFI=0.92, TLI=0.91, RMSEA=0.06, SRMR=0.05). The MI could explain 62 percent of the variance through its set of variables. Three antecedents, i.e. IT, ST and SS, had a direct effect while SE and BF had an indirect effect on MI. The IT had the highest total effect on the MI, while ST was a mediator among other study antecedences concerning the MI.

Originality/value

The model adequately fit the data among teenage mothers one-year postpartum. Promoting MI should strongly diminish strain and encourage positively perceived infant temperament, self-esteem, social support and balanced family functioning.

Details

Journal of Health Research, vol. 33 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2586-940X

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Article
Publication date: 12 August 2014

Mary Jane Kehily

This paper aims to consider the increased commercialisation of motherhood and particularly the consumer practices of women as they prepare for the birth of their first…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to consider the increased commercialisation of motherhood and particularly the consumer practices of women as they prepare for the birth of their first child. The commercial world appears omnipresent in the lives of new mothers in Western societies.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on a five-year study of motherhood in the UK, the paper focusses on women’s relationship to the marketing and consumption of everyday maternity and baby products made available to them through readership of pregnancy magazines and mainstream commercial outlets.

Findings

Documenting how consumer culture features in the lives of mothers-to-be, the study identifies age and socio-economic status as key features in shaping the maternal experience and consumer “choice”.

Originality/value

The paper explores the significance of consumption as preparatory work in the transition to motherhood.

Details

Young Consumers, vol. 15 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1747-3616

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