Troubling reflexivity: the identity flows of teachers becoming mothers

Thomson, Rachel and Kehily, Mary Jane (2011) Troubling reflexivity: the identity flows of teachers becoming mothers. Gender and Education, 23 (3). pp. 233-245. ISSN 0954-0253

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This paper explores the transition to first‐time motherhood as experienced by a small sub‐sample of women engaged in the professional care of young children. In the context of a wider study of motherhood in the UK, their experience of combining work with new motherhood was distinctive. Women who professionally care for young children present a counter‐narrative to the view that teaching and motherhood can be blended. Negotiating the boundaries between work and motherhood produced a troubling reflexivity in which difficult feelings emerged and collided. Working in urban education involves emotionally intense forms of attachment that are disrupted by pregnancy. Becoming a mother prompts a renegotiation of professional and personal boundaries, leading women to pursue mothering as a separate enterprise, marked by individual solutions to care and career. Separating themselves from their working environment, women simultaneously isolate themselves from their middle‐class counterparts who pay for childcare and return to work.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: teacher identities, maternal identities, work, motherhood, early years teaching
Schools and Departments: School of Education and Social Work > Education
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
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Depositing User: Cecilia Kimani
Date Deposited: 09 May 2012 08:47
Last Modified: 30 Nov 2012 17:12
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