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Mother Role versus Wife Role

  • By: Rita M. Jones
  • In: Encyclopedia of Motherhood
  • Edited by: Andrea O'Reilly
  • Subject:Sociology of Gender, Parenting, Maternal Health

Most societies glorify—spiritually or socially—the role of the mother, and in most cultures, many women develop a desire to become mothers. Attaining the role of mother often requires women to first become wives with husbands. Although some cultures worldwide have now become more accepting of mothers who either have no partners or have lesbian partners, these cultures continue to emphasize the role of wife married to a husband. Likewise, the role of mother still ranks higher than wife in the hierarchy of roles for women.

Wife Role

For many social and economic structures, the wife enables the husband to work outside the home—whether in agricultural or urban settings—and discussions abound about the impact of keeping women in the home to care for men. Regardless, women still desire ...

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