Motherhood as Discourse and Practice
edited by Andrea O’Reilly
This volume, playing upon the double entendre of the word “Matters,” examines the substance and significance of motherhood. As motherhood is the subject matter of the volume, the volume similarly examines how motherhood matters - is of importance - to women and society more generally. In considering these matters the volume examines motherhood both as it is representes and lived. In particular, the volume looks at how the contemporary ideology of good motherhood is represented in diverse popular discourses - film, popular literature, children’s fiction, amagzines, judicial rulings, and parenting books. Likewise, it examines how the messy and muddled realities of motherhood are camoflaged by the normative discourse of motherhood and how, in turn, practices of mothering - in all their complexity and diversity - challenge the denial of such difficulty and difference in the normative discourse.
The eighteen chapers in this volume were selected from the first ten issues of the Journal of the Association for Research on Mothering. Mother Matters was published to celebrate the publication of ARM’s tenth journal issue and to affirm that, indeed, mothers and mothering do matter!
Andrea O’Reilly is an Associate Professor of Women’s Studies, York University, Toronto and Director of the Association for Research on Mothering. She is the author of Toni Morrison and Motherhood: A Politics of the Heart, and editor of eight books on mothering including Mother Outlaws: Theories and Practices of Empowered Mothering.