What does motherhood mean today? Drawing on interviews with new mothers and intergenerational chains of women in the same family, this exciting and timely book documents the transition to motherhood over generations and time. Exploring, amongst other things, the trend to later motherhood and the experience of teenage pregnancy, a compelling picture emerges. Becoming a mother is not only a profound moment of identity change but also a site of socio-economic difference that shapes women's lives.
"A beautifully written narrative woven together with great skill by the authors , which respects women's stories whilst illuminating them by the judicious use of feminist theory. " Valerie Hey, University of Sussex
"This is a timely and fascinating sociological study of motherhood in contemporary Britain. Drawing on a rich and diverse body of ethnographic data, it makes a singular contribution to a new generation of scholarly research on motherhood, and will impact on wider public and policy debates about the longstanding and new challenges faced by mothers today." Imogen Tyler, Lancaster University
Rachel Thomson is Professor of Social Research at The Open University, UK. Mary Jane Kehily is Senior Lecturer in Childhood and Youth Studies at The Open University. Lucy Hadfield is a postgraduate research student at The Open University. Sue Sharpe is a freelance researcher and writer.
Contents: Motherhood at large; Conception; Body; Family; Expert advice; Work; Commodities; Birth; After birth.