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Maternal Practice

  • By: Donna Holstine Vander Valk
  • In: Encyclopedia of Motherhood
  • Edited by: Andrea O'Reilly
  • Subject:Sociology of Gender, Parenting, Maternal Health

Maternal practice is the discipline denoted by the engaged and committed feelings and activities meant to preserve, nurture, and enable children to develop or unfold in their potential. It is a philosophical and theoretical term that is initially taken up in the work of Sara Ruddick, who expresses the belief that maternal practice, as a key social practice, should not be minimized. Sara Ruddick argues that maternal practice, like other practices (such as science), has its own form of thinking and vocabulary along with its own aims and goals, in which both knowledge and agency are presupposed. As such, Ruddick argues that it should be considered as a public practice, worthy of the same esteem other practices are granted.

In Maternal Thinking: Toward a Politics ...

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