Mothers and Their Children: A Feminist Sociology of Childrearing

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SAGE, Nov 24, 1994 - Child rearing - 240 pages
This volume presents a fresh approach to the analysis of childrearing. By focusing on mothers' own understandings of their childrearing, the author reveals how differences in childrearing are rooted in fundamental ideas about the nature of social life and the place of the individual and the family within it.

Broad cultural concepts of family, individuality and the nature of childhood are discussed. The author analyzes the implications of mothers' ideas about these for key childrearing preoccupations of time, discipline and the independence of children. An important theme that emerges is the diversity behind the image of the 'ordinary family'. Drawing on empirical evidence of mothers' concerns and understandings of childrearing, the author illustrates how issues of power and the public/private divide are negotiated in the daily lives of mothers and their children.

 

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Contents

The Feminist Study of Childrearing
27
Individuals Families and Children
46
Friends and Relations
74
Portraits of Childrearing in Four Middle Income
93
Fitting in around the Children
116
Overview of the Portraits
136
Childrearing Philosophies in Action
163
Sociology and Childrearing Reconsidered
189
Further Details of the Sample
214
Index
232
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Page 7 - Much of developmental psychology, as it now exists, is the science of the strange behaviour of children in strange situations with strange adults for the briefest periods of time
Page 20 - thus accomplishes what (in hindsight of course) may be seen as the most important confidence trick that society plays on the individual - to make appear as necessity what is in fact a bundle of contingencies, and thus to make meaningful the accident of his
Page 17 - This supposition does not necessarily assume that parents consciously train their children to meet future occupational requirements, it may simply be that their own occupational experiences have significantly affected parents' conceptions of what is desirable
Page 23 - the torrents of threat and cajolery neither impinge on the feelings of parental affection, nor are meant as signs of rejection. As one mother explained to her child, "We hit you because we love you"
Page 21 - the immediate apprehension or interpretation of an objective event as expressing meaning, that is, as a manifestation of another's subjective processes which thereby becomes subjectively meaningful to myself (Berger and Luckmann

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