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Oakley, Ann

  • By: Luca Prono
  • In: Encyclopedia of Motherhood
  • Edited by: Andrea O'Reilly
  • Subject:Sociology of Gender, Parenting, Maternal Health

Ann Oakley is a British feminist theorist who has published both fiction and nonfiction works contributing to the development of feminism as a social science. Oakley has devoted a significant part of her research to the sociology of motherhood and childbirth. This research has resulted in the volumes Becoming a Mother (1979), later reprinted as From Here to Maternity, and Women Confined: Towards a Sociology of Childbirth (1980). She has also authored the first history of antenatal care for child-bearing women in The Captured Womb (1984).

Like other feminist theorists, Oakley took issue with a romanticized vision of motherhood that makes it a natural event for women. In Becoming a Mother, Oakley has defined motherhood as “a handicap but also a strength; a trial and an ...

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