Mamma är lik sin mamma : En kvalitativ studie av moderskap ur ett livsloppsperspektiv

Detta är en Kandidat-uppsats från Karlstads universitet/Institutionen för sociala och psykologiska studier; Karlstads universitet/Institutionen för sociala och psykologiska studier

Sammanfattning: The choice of studying motherhood was born out of our own self- perceived experiences as mothers, and in the sense of having a “book of rules” constantly present in the motherly role. Throughout times the motherly discourses surrounding motherhood have included aspects such as caring for and nurturing children, to take care of the household chores and to overall have an all seeing eye over the logistics of the home. In contrast, the men´s primary task is to provide the family with economic capital. ”The good mother”- this pure madonna figure, is often linked to a naturalness discourse which points towards women as created to bear children, giving birth and then finding themselves instinctively knowing how to take care of the newborn. This idea of motherhood as the women´s primary task is traditional in the sense of being rooted in historical contexts. Through a qualitative study, we wish to contribute to a wider understanding of the complex ways in which discourses work and affect the individual lives of women adulging in motherhood, focusing on their own experiences of motherhood. We have chosen to interview nine women from three different families, in each family three generations. Previous research points at two big discourses in western society- the naturalness discourse and the discourse surrounding gender equality. With a focus on these two discourses the study also is carried out with a lifecourse perspective as a way of capture the very important aspect of time. Time is a central part in our attempt to understand the ways in which discourses work, travels and modifies over time. Our findings, watching three generations of mothers reinforces the picture of the work towards equality is both complex and far from done. The motherly discourses are, even today, often characterized by a traditional thinking motivated by and linked to a perception of the natural when it comes to the different roles men and women are attributed. This, in turn, causes a collision with a “modern” discourse surrounding equality. Nowadays the roles embedded in the gender contract is overall more equal than before. Thus you could expect women to, in greater occurence, be freed of the discursive fetters. Despite this, this study points at the opposite direction, leaving us with a feeling of failure when it comes to gender equality. A traditional discourse of “the good mother” is still present in a modified “modern” version. Women in western society therefor are free when it comes to a lot of aspects, but not fully free in the sense of being themselves in the motherly role.

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