Figuring Families: Generation, Situation and Narrative in Contemporary Mothering

Kehily, Mary Jane and Thomson, Rachel (2011) Figuring Families: Generation, Situation and Narrative in Contemporary Mothering. Sociological Research Online, 16 (4). ISSN 1360-7804

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Abstract

This paper contributes to the theme of the special issue by identifying concepts that both embody relationality and have the capacity to address and articulate temporal processes. Based on an empirical study of first time motherhood, we offer a sensitising conceptual framework which privileges the temporal, scaffolding the macro socio-historical with the micro personal and subjective. The study combines longitudinal and intergenerational approaches to develop an understanding of maternal experience as it unfolds, while forging connections between individual biography, generational investments and intergenerational dynamics. Drawing on a conceptual tool kit from life history, cultural studies, social psychology and sociology, we profile two biographical case studies as an illustration of our approach. Our analysis of their contrasting experiences as 'young' and 'old' mothers demonstrates the salience of key conceptual terms including 'generation', 'situation' and 'narrative' and how this conceptual framework can both map and animate accounts of contemporary mothering.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: Motherhood; Generation; Situation, Narrative
Schools and Departments: School of Education and Social Work > Social Work and Social Care
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HQ The Family. Marriage. Women > HQ0503 The Family. Marriage. Home > HQ0755 Parents. Parenthood Including parent and child, husbands, fathers, wives, mothers
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Depositing User: Cecilia Kimani
Date Deposited: 09 May 2012 10:51
Last Modified: 09 May 2012 10:51
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/38727
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