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Jewish Mothers

  • By: Myrna A. Hant
  • In: Encyclopedia of Motherhood
  • Edited by: Andrea O'Reilly
  • Subject:Sociology of Gender, Parenting, Maternal Health

Jewish mothers are not just mothers who happen to be Jewish, but are a stereotypical representation of motherhood with traits that are so recognizable, the term Jewish mother can be applied to any mother who reflects these traits. This stereotype developed from a unique history of persecution and migration, and has been propagated through literature and media representations during the 20th and 21st centuries. Numerous explanations are offered as to why the Jewish mother was created, and the reasons for her widespread popularity and longevity.

Characteristics

The Jewish mother is a paradoxical amalgam of positive and negative traits, a figure that embodies some of the ambiguities that are felt toward motherhood in general. The positive aspects of the stereotype, in the forefront until the middle of the ...

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