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This chapter examines how women deploy gendered motherhood norms to publicly challenge abortion stigma. Drawing on a sample of 41 abortion stories from women living in…
This chapter examines how women deploy gendered motherhood norms to publicly challenge abortion stigma. Drawing on a sample of 41 abortion stories from women living in Tennessee, I find that women evoke notions of intensive, total, and idealized motherhood in order to manage and challenge the stigma of an abortion. A large proportion of these stories were written by married mothers who emphasized their identities as good mothers and wives. A close qualitative analysis of these trends reveals two dominant forms of recasting abortion. First, abortion is framed as an extension of total mothering to spare an unborn baby from risky health conditions. Part of this includes casting abortion as an often-necessary choice in order for a woman to develop into the perfect mother for the benefit of her children – altruistic self-development. Second, abortion is construed as a form of maternal protection of current children to continue intensively mothering them. Both themes speak to women’s strategies for reframing abortion as a health practice to promote the well-being of children. These findings have implications for the study of medical stigma, reproduction, and the impact of gender ideals on women’s health choices.
Japanese women’s life courses have changed dramatically in recent history. Yet, transformation of the meanings and experiences of childlessness did not follow a linear…
Japanese women’s life courses have changed dramatically in recent history. Yet, transformation of the meanings and experiences of childlessness did not follow a linear, one-dimensional path. Childlessness in Japan today – strongly influenced by Western, modern education after the World War II – can indeed be interpreted as a form of liberation from a restrictively gendered life-course. However, in Japan’s pre-modern period, there were in fact alternative paths available for women to remain childless. As Japan became nationalised and the meanings of Japanese womanhood shifted, childlessness became increasingly stigmatised and notably, stigmatised across social classes.
This chapter provides concise accounts of the social meanings of marriage and fertility from the Tokugawa period through the Meiji period and continues with analysis of pressures faced by contemporary Japanese women who are childless. Also highlighted are the particular socio-demographic contexts which have brought involuntary childlessness, too, into the realms of public discussion and expected action on the part of the government. Through its account of the Japanese context, this chapter emphasises the larger theoretical, sociological argument that the historically placed social construction of childlessness – and thus, of the experiences and identities of childless women – always occurs through particular intersections of cultural, political-economic and demographic conditions.
The purpose of this paper is to explore how entrepreneur-mothers experience independence in the transition to entrepreneurship, and whether they perceive independence as…
The purpose of this paper is to explore how entrepreneur-mothers experience independence in the transition to entrepreneurship, and whether they perceive independence as an agentic, opportunity-maximisation motive or a constrained, necessity-driven response.
Adopting a qualitative and interpretive approach, the authors analysed interviews with 60 entrepreneur-mothers to refine conceptual understanding of independence.
The authors find that entrepreneur-mothers experience independence not as an opportunity, but as a functional necessity in managing the temporal and perceived moral demands of motherhood. The authors assert that there is a fundamental difference between wanting independence to pursue a more autonomous lifestyle, and needing independence to attend to family obligations, a difference that is not adequately captured in the existing conceptualisation of independence. Consequently, the authors propose the classification of “family-driven entrepreneurship” to capture the social and institutional factors that may disproportionately push women with caregiving responsibilities towards self-employment.
This paper proposes that a new category of entrepreneurial motivation be recognised to better account for the social and institutional factors affecting women’s entrepreneurship, enabling policymakers to more accurately position and support entrepreneur-mothers.
The authors challenge the existing framing of independence as an agentic opportunity-seeking motive, and seek to incorporate family dynamics into existing entrepreneurial models.
This paper delivers much-needed conceptual refinement of independence as a motivator to entrepreneurship by examining the experiences of entrepreneur-mothers, and proposes a new motivational classification, that of family-driven entrepreneurship to capture the elements of agency and constraint embedded in this transition.
Provides a review of the position of women in management in a number of countries. Describes how in almost all countries, management positions are dominated by men…
Provides a review of the position of women in management in a number of countries. Describes how in almost all countries, management positions are dominated by men. Concludes that, although many similarities were found in women’s work experience across cultures, cultural factors accounted for the unique experiences of women in a given country.
Very little research has examined how prostitute women relate to each other. Drawing on interviews, focus groups, and observations with 76 women engaged in street-level…
Very little research has examined how prostitute women relate to each other. Drawing on interviews, focus groups, and observations with 76 women engaged in street-level prostitution in Baltimore, Philadelphia, and a mid-Atlantic state, we show how prostitute women provide mutual assistance both to meet their basic needs and as part of their ethical norms, in contrast to the stigmatized characterizations of prostitute women as morally deficient. Women’s relationships offer them concrete support and encouragement while simultaneously producing a counter-narrative that challenges their stigmatized identities.
Purpose – Informed by an intersectional perspective, this chapter examines how middle-class, immigrant Tamil (an Indian regional group) Brahmin (upper-caste) profess/ional…
Purpose – Informed by an intersectional perspective, this chapter examines how middle-class, immigrant Tamil (an Indian regional group) Brahmin (upper-caste) profess/ional women organize motherhood in the U.S., by identifying the arrangements of mothering they develop, and the conditions under which these emerge.Methodology/approach – Data is based on a year-long ethnography among Tamils in Atlanta, and multi-part, feminist life-history interviews with 33 first-generation, Tamil professional women, analyzed within a constructivist grounded theory method.Findings – Tamil immigrant motherhood emerges from the interplay of Tamil women's social location as an immigrant community of color in the U.S. and their agency. Paradoxically racialized as model minorities who are also culturally incommensurable with American society, Tamil women rework motherhood around breadwinning and cultural nurturing to mother for class and ethnicity respectively. They expand the hegemonic model of Tamil Brahmin motherhood beyond domesticity positioning their professional work as complementary to mothering, while simultaneously reinforcing hegemonic elements of mothers as keepers of culture, responsible for ethnic socialization of children. Mothering then enables them to engender integration into American society by positioning families as upwardly mobile, model minorities who are ethnic. This, however, exacts a personal toll: their limited professional mobility and reduced personal leisure time.Originality/value – By uncovering Tamil immigrant motherhood as structural and agentic, a site of power contestation between spouses and among Tamil women, and its salience in adaptation to America, this chapter advances scholarship on South Asians that under-theorizes mothering and that on immigrant parenting in which South Asians are invisible.