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South Asian Mothers/Mothering

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

South Asian mothers are a diverse and heterogeneous group that live in a wide geographical area—i.e., Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and surrounding areas—with distinct cultural, religious, and linguistic traditions. Their circumstances are further diversified by caste affiliations, economic status, and whether or not they have transnational links. South Asian culture has historically revered mothers for providing nurturance, care, and love to the next generation; upholding and preserving family honor; and transmitting and preserving cultural norms and values. In this context, South Asian mothers are given power in the domestic sphere as they serve as the bedrock of family life. In return for this power, South Asian mothers are expected to be sacrificial, dutiful, and fulfilled in their role as mothers. However, the experiences ...

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