Relevant, focused and accessible this book will provide students with an indispensible guide to the central concepts of family studies.




Motherhood refers to the processes associated with designating specific women as mothers, who are understood to be the bearers and/or primary carers of, children.


Motherhood was regarded as a marginal social science topic until the work of feminist writers from the 1970s onwards made it visible as a social institution rather than a biological destiny (Thorne and Yalom, 1992). While becoming a mother may appear to be unequivocally biologically based, assisted reproductive technologies create new challenges, for example, as with the gestation by one woman of another woman's fertilized embryo. Furthermore, women's labour force participation means that social mothering – in the form of childcare provided by other women – is widespread. Community mothering is also a feature of Caribbean communities, as part of collective ...

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