Motherhood as non-ambition?: Negotiating maternal subjectivities

Osgood, Jayne ORCID logoORCID: and Allen, Kim (2009) Motherhood as non-ambition?: Negotiating maternal subjectivities. In: 8th Conference of the Discourse, Power, Resistance Series (DPR8): Power and the Academy, 06-08 Apr 2009, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester. . [Conference or Workshop Item]


Drawing upon recent empirical research from two separate, but interconnecting studies by the authors, we place a critical focus on ‘the maternal’. We explore how young women negotiate and position themselves in relation to dominant, post-feminist discourses of ‘choice’, ‘success’ and ‘potential’ through/within education and work. We argue, following work by McRobbie and Walkerdine, that the meanings and identities associated with 'the maternal' have been transformed by the impact of neo-liberalism on normative forms of female personhood, oriented around the economic, rational, independent, self-regulatory subject. We highlight that the identification with normative constructions of what Rose calls the ‘worthy citizen’ inculcates a problematic repudiation of motherhood as its 'other' or non-ambition. However, highly ambivalent/ ambiguous processes of dis-identification are debated and resistance to these discourses explored.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Additional Information: Symposium - Encounters between cultural studies and education
Research Areas: A. > School of Health and Education > Education
Item ID: 17954
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Depositing User: Kristina Repova
Date Deposited: 06 Oct 2015 14:32
Last Modified: 25 Apr 2019 11:44

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