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Self-Identity

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

Self and identity conceptions are important facets of contemporary motherhood. Social scientists in the disciplines of sociology and psychology are particularly interested in researching mothers' selves, identities, and society's mediating influences. However, despite their shared interest, academic understandings vary considerably. Much of this variance is due to the different ways that researchers understand self and identity formation. While academic views of mothers' selves and identities differ, almost all scholars agree that women's transitions to motherhood, whether chosen or accidental, significantly affect women's understandings of who they are and how others define them. Furthermore, most academics concur that social norms help to shape women's transitions into motherhood and mothers' understandings of their selves and identities.

Sociologists understand the self as primarily and continually formed in interaction ...

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