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Journal ArticleDOI

Mediating postcolonial pregnancies in neoliberal times

28 May 2019-Feminist Media Studies (Informa UK Limited)-Vol. 19, Iss: 5, pp 751-756

Abstract“All we women need to be well organized and willful to fulfil both the roles successfully.”–Jimmy Kaul, CEO, Shopotox(“7 working, mother entrepreneurs share tips on work-life balance”, Jain 2017)Du...

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Journal Article
Abstract: The Price of Motherhood: Why the Most Important Job in the World Is Still the Least Valued Ann Crittenden New York: Metropolitan Books 2001 323 pp ISBN: 0-8050-6618-7, $2500 (cloth) When I saw the book jacket endorsements from well-known authors like Barbara Ehrenreich and Arlie Hochschild, I figured this book would be well-researched, pointed, and persuasive It is, although not without its limitations Ann Crittenden has crafted an eminently readable and informative review of the current social scientific research documenting the fact that, "raising children may be the most important job in the world, but you can't put it on a resume" The early chapters of the book deftly draw upon a who's-who list of social scientists regarded as leaders in the research of women's persistent wage inequality-Claudia Goldin, Barbara Bergmann, Paula England, Suzanne Bianchi, Jane Waldfogel, Felice Schwartz Refreshingly free of jargon and pretentious in-text citation lists, the book introduces these academics and not just their work Indeed, the text makes clear that Crittenden met with and is able to directly quote many of the researchers The book takes to task simplistic economic arguments, pointing out the inadequacies of earlier economic theorizing about why women and mothers are not financially rewarded by society (Chapter 4) The author pushes the issue of how mothers' household labor is kept out of the market although that same labor produces much of the human capital that their children will bring to the labor market as adults To explain why the "hand that rocks the cradle" has been rendered as a truly invisible hand, she turns attention to larger social processes and institutions such as marriage, law, and politics The middle part of the book focuses on wives' economic dependency on husbands, divorce law, and divorce settlement Each chapter relies mostly on one or two anecdotes or on individual legal cases and interviews of plaintiffs, supplemented by research statistics Chapters 10-- 12 take the government to task, decrying the lack of publicly funded childcare, the lack of social security payments for stay-at-home mothers, and the weak enforcement of child support law and settlements Crittenden concludes with a collection of familiar policy suggestions, including calls for businesses to pay for a year of paid parental leave for all workers, for the federal government to fund universal preschool for 3- and 4-year-olds, for states to regard all family income as evenly divisible for husband and wife upon divorce, and for communities to change their attitudes and actions in ways that support people who decide to focus on parenting …

209 citations


References
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Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: The great obsession of the nineteenth century was, as we know, history: with its themes of development and of suspension, of crisis and cycle, themes of the ever-accumulating past, with its great preponderance of dead men and the menacing glaciation of the world. The nineteenth century found its essential mythological resources in the second principle of thermodynamics. The present epoch will perhaps be above all the epoch of space. We are in the epoch of simultaneity: we are in the epoch of juxtaposition, the epoch of the near and far, of the side-by-side, of the dispersed. We are at a moment, I believe, when our experience of the world is less that of a long life developing through time than that of a network that connects points and intersects with its own skein. One could perhaps say that certain ideological conflicts animating present-day polemics oppose the pious descendents of time and the determined inhabitants of space. Structuralism, or at least that which is grouped under this slightly too general name, is the effort to establish, between elements that could have been connected on a temporal axis, an ensemble of relations that makes them appear as juxtaposed, set off against one another, implicated by each otherthat makes them appear, in short, as a sort of configuration. Actually, structuralism does not entail a denial of time; it does involve a certain manner of dealing with what we call time and what we call history. Yet it is necessary to notice that the space which today appears to form the horizon of our concerns, our theory, our systems, is not an innovation; space itself has a history in Western experience and it i s not possible to disregard the fatal intersection of time with space. One could say, by way of retracing this history of space very roughiy, that in the Middle Ages there was a hierarchic ensemble of places: sacred places and profane places; protected places and open, exposed places; urban places and rural places (all these concern the real life of men). In cosmological theory, there were the supercelestial places, as opposed to the celestial, and the celestial place was in its turn opposed to the terrestrial place. There were places where things had been put because they had been violently displaced, and then on the contrary places where things found their natural ground and stability. It was this complete hierarchy, this opposition, this intersection of places that constituted what could very roughly be called medieval space: the space of emplacement.

3,896 citations

Book
28 Aug 1996
Abstract: "Hays's intellectually incendiary Cultural Contradictions could add needed nuance to feminist thought-and perhaps ignite change in mothersi overburdened lives."-Phyllis Eckhaus, The Nation "A lucid, probing examination of our culture's contradictory and troubled relationship to motherhood-and how it affects mothers. . . . A thoughtful analysis of the paradoxes that surround mothering. Hays is sensitive to the emotional issues involved-and equally astute in perceiving their sociopolitical context."-Kirkus Reviews "A thoughtful and carefully written new book that provides excellent material for family demography or women's studies courses at the graduate level."-Sandra L. Hofferth, American Journal of Sociology An ideology of 'intensive mothering' exacerbates the inevitable tensions working mothers face, claims sociologist Sharon Hays. While women are expected to be nurturing and unselfish in their role as mothers, they are expected to be competitive and even ruthless at work. Drawing on ideas about mothering since the Middle Ages, on contemporary childrearing manuals, and on in-depth interviews, Hays shows that 'intensive mothering' is a powerful contemporary ideology. These unrealistic expectations of mothers, she suggests, reflect a deep cultural ambivalence about the pursuit of self-interest.

1,989 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: While women are expected to be nurturing and unselfish in their role as mothers, they are expected to be competitive and even ruthless at work. Drawing on ideas about mothering since the Middle Ages, on contemporary childrearing manuals, and on in-depth interviews, Hays shows that 'intensive mothering' is a powerful contemporary ideology. These unrealistic expectations of mothers, she suggests, reflect a deep cultural ambivalence about the pursuit of self-interest.

1,472 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: The notion of postfeminism has become one of the most important in the lexicon of feminist cultural an alysis. Yet there is little agreement about what postfeminism is. This article argues that postfeminism is best understood as a distinctive sensibility, made up of a number of interrelated themes. These include the notion that femininity is a bodily property; the shift from objectification to subjectification; an emphasis upon self-surveillance, monitoring and self-discipline; a focus on individualism, choice and empowerment; the dominance of a makeover paradigm; and a resurgence of ideas about natural sexual difference. Each of these is explored in some detail, with examples from contemporary Anglo-American media. It is precisely the patterned articulation of these ideas that constitutes a postfeminist sensibility. The article concludes with a discussion of the connection between this sensibility and contemporary neoliberalism.

1,236 citations


"Mediating postcolonial pregnancies ..." refers background in this paper

  • ...…and body dysmorphia; graphic tabloid reports of rape are placed cheek by jowl with adverts for lap-dancing clubs and telephone sex lines; lad magazines declare the “sex war” over, while reinstating beauty contests and championing new, ironic modes of sexism (Rosalind Rosalind Gill 2007, 1)....

    [...]

  • ...Contextually, the heterotopic (Michel Foucault 1986) nature of postfeminist landscapes has been cogently articulated: Confident expressions of “girl power” sit alongside reports of “epidemic” levels of anorexia and body dysmorphia; graphic tabloid reports of rape are placed cheek by jowl with adverts for lap-dancing clubs and telephone sex lines; lad magazines declare the “sex war” over, while reinstating beauty contests and championing new, ironic modes of sexism (Rosalind Rosalind Gill 2007, 1)....

    [...]

Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: Neoliberalism has been viewed as a capitalist machinery that is structuring a new planetary geography. But the newness of the neoliberalism word does not disguise the classic method of relying on old macro political distinctions. By now, we are familiar with the image of neoliberalism as an economic tsunami that is gathering force across the planet, pummelling each country in its path and sweeping away old structures of power. This approach proceeds on the assumption that neoliberalism is an ensemble of coordinates that will

591 citations


"Mediating postcolonial pregnancies ..." refers background in this paper

  • ...…we point out that such reductive mediations reflect a neoliberal framework, which “as a dominant structural condition . . . projects totalizing social change” (Aihwa Ong 2007, 4) and renders important intersectional identity markers in the postcolonial sphere, like caste and class, invisible....

    [...]