The Routledge Companion to Motherhood  book cover
1st Edition

The Routledge Companion to Motherhood

ISBN 9781138052413
Published November 18, 2019 by Routledge
546 Pages

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Book Description

Interdisciplinary and intersectional in emphasis, the Routledge Companion to Motherhood brings together essays on current intellectual themes, issues, and debates, while also creating a foundation for future scholarship and study as the field of Motherhood Studies continues to develop globally.

This Routledge Companion is the first extensive collection on the wide-ranging topics, themes, issues, and debates that ground the intellectual work being done on motherhood. Global in scope and including a range of disciplinary perspectives, including anthropology, literature, communication studies, sociology, women’s and gender studies, history, and economics, this volume introduces the foundational topics and ideas in motherhood, delineates the diversity and complexity of mothering, and also stimulates dialogue among scholars and students approaching from divergent backgrounds and intellectual perspectives.

This will become a foundational text for academics in Women's and Gender Studies and interdisciplinary researchers interested in this important, complex and rapidly growing topic. Scholars of psychology, sociology or public policy, and activists in both university and workplace settings interested in motherhood and mothering will find it an invaluable guide.

Table of Contents


Lynn O’Brien Hallstein, Andrea O’Reilly, and Melinda Vandenbeld Giles "Introduction"

Section One: Maternal Theory

Andrea O’Reilly Chapter 1: Maternal Theory: Patriarchal Motherhood and Empowered Mothering

Fiona Green Chapter 2: Feminist Mothering

Andrea O’Reilly Chapter 3: Matricentric Feminism: A Feminism for Mothers

Section Two: Mothering Through Difference: Hearing the Voices of Marginalized Mothers

Shelley M Park Chapter 4: Queering and Querying Motherhood

Gloria Filax & Dena Taylor Chapter 5: Disabled Mothers

Marva Lewis & Karen Craddock Chapter 6: Mothering While Black: Strengths and Vulnerabilities in a Sociopolitical Racial Context of Structural Inequality

Brianna Turgeon &Kaitlyn Root Chapter 7: Welfare Mothers in the US

Jennifer Brant Chapter 8: Indigenous Mothers: Birthing the Nation from Resistance to Revolution

Emilie Lewis Chapter 9: Voluntarily Childless Women: A Look at Western Society and the Definition of Motherhood

Section Three: Mothers, Mothering, Culture and Art

Lynn O’Brien Hallstein Chapter 10: Mediated Celebrity Motherhood: Representing The Norms, Values, and Practices Promoted by and through Celebrity Moms

Myrel Chernick & Jennie Klein Chapter 11: Feminist Art and Motherhood: An Overview

Florence Pasche Guignard Chapter 12: Religions and Mothers

Martha Joy Rose Chapter 13: Mothers and Music

Elizabeth Podnieks Chapter 14: Matrifocal Voices in Literature

Heather Hewett Chapter 15: Mothering Memoirs

Section Four: Mothering and Health

Patty Douglas & Estée Klar Chapter 16: Beyond Disordered Brains and Mother Blame: Critical Issues in Autism and Mothering

Rebecca Hughes Chapter 17: No Fixed Address: Explicating the Everyday Health Challenges of Women Living in an Emergency Homeless Shelter

Alicia Bonaparte Chapter 18: Midwifery in Historical and Contemporary Perspective: The Collusion of Race, Class, and Gender

Sinead O'Malley Chapter 19: Mothers in Prison: Matricentric Feminist Criminology

Caroline McDonald-Harker Chapter 20: Abused Women's Mothering Experiences: Making the Invisible Visible

Section Five: Mothering, Families and Domestic Space

Melinda Vandenbeld Giles Chapter 21: "From Home to House: Neoliberalism, Maternal Pedagogy and the De-domestication of the Private Sphere?

Linda Ennis Chapter 22: Mothering or Parenting?

Jennifer L. Johnson Chapter 23: Homing in on Domestic Space: The Boundaries and Potential of Home-making

Dorsia Smith Silva Chapter 24: Configuring the Mother-Daughter Dyad

Nicole L Willey Chapter 25: Mothers and Sons

Section Six: Mothering and Work

Catherine Bryan Chapter 26: Mothers and Work: Social Reproduction and the Labours of Motherhood

Jennifer Borda Chapter 27: The Lasting Impacts of "The Opt Out

Revolution": Disciplining Working Mothers

Brooke Richardson Chapter 28: Shifting Gender Norms and Childcare in Canada

Patrice Buzzanell Chapter 29: Poor and Working-Class Mothers

Section Seven: Mothering, Economics and Globalization

Melinda Vandenbeld Giles Chapter 30: Mothering, Neoliberalism and Globalization

Margunn Bjørnholt Chapter 31: Mothering and the Economy

Gabrielle Oliveira Chapter 32: Transnational Mothering: Conceptualizing Ideas of Care Here and There

Grace Adeniyi Ogunyankin Chapter 33: Mothering, Urbanization and Africa

Section Eight: Mothering, Governance and Politics

Rebecca Jaremko Bromwich Chapter 34: Formal Governance of and by Mothers: Mothers, Public Policy, and Law

Simone Bohn Chapter 35: Mothering and Politics

Catherine Borshuk & Gordana Eljdupovic Chapter 36: The Criminalization and Incarceration of Mothers in Canada and the United States

Michelle Hughes Miller Chapter 37: The Governance of Mothers

Section Nine: Mothering and Activism

Sara Hayden Chapter 38: The Politics of Motherhood: Maternal Appeals in the Public Sphere

Reena Shadaan Chapter 39: Mothering and Activism

Catalina de Onís Chapter 40: Reproductive Justice as Environmental Justice:  Contexts, Coalitions, and Cautions

Natalie Fixmer-Oraiz Chapter 41: Motherhood and the Struggle for Reproductive Justice

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Lynn O’Brien Hallstein, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Rhetoric and an Affiliated Faculty of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program at Boston University. She is the author/(co)editor of five books, including Bikini-Ready Moms: Celebrity Profiles, Motherhood, and the Body, which won the Organization for the Study of Communication, Language, and Gender’s 2016 Outstanding Book Award, and has published in variety of feminist and communication journals.

Andrea O’Reilly, PhD, is Professor in the School of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies at York University. O’Reilly is founder and director of the Motherhood Initiative for Research and Community Involvement, founder and editor-in-chief of the Journal of the Motherhood Initiative, and founder and publisher of Demeter Press. She is the editor/author of 22 books including Matricentric Feminism: Theory, Activism, and Practice (2016).

Melinda Vandenbeld Giles is a lecturer in Anthropology and English at Lakehead University (Orillia). Her research focuses on neoliberalism, public policy and homelessness (particularly for mothers) in Ontario. Melinda’s publications include her Demeter Press edited volume Mothering in the Age of Neoliberalism, her co-edited volume The Routledge Companion to Motherhood, and her Inanna feminist novel Clara Awake. Melinda’s work also appears in many Demeter Press edited collections, JMI (Journal of the Motherhood Initiative for Research and Community Involvement) and Development (Journal of the Society for International Development).


"This book is indeed a companion, a wise and wide-ranging guide for anyone who wants to spend time exploring the world of contemporary motherhood studies. Across topics and disciplines, it accompanies the reader to the most engaging sites in the field."

-- Joan B. Wolf, Associate Professor, Women’s and Gender Studies, Texas A&M University, and author of Is Breast Best? Taking on the Breastfeeding Experts and the New High Stakes of Motherhood.

"This is an anthology whose time has come! The editors have garnered an extraordinary number of international scholars to discuss motherhood from a broad range of perspectives, more than one might ever have thought possible. Adrienne Rich’s pioneering distinction between motherhood as institution and ideology versus motherhood as experience and identity structures the volume’s chapters on diverse mothering/motherhood concerns across the globe. The volume will guide Motherhood Studies for years to come."

-- E. Ann Kaplan, Distinguished Professor of English and Women's Gender, and Sexuality, Studies, Stony Brook University