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Political motherhood and the everyday experience of mothering : a comparison of the child care strategies of French and British working mothers

Windebank, J. (1999) Political motherhood and the everyday experience of mothering : a comparison of the child care strategies of French and British working mothers. Journal of Social Policy, 28 (1). pp. 1-25. ISSN 0047-2794

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Abstract

In contrast to the majority of research on the relationship between women and the state which bases its findings on nationally aggregated data and concentrates its analysis on the forces which shape national policy concerning gender, this article adopts a micro-social approach to this question. Based on the findings from an in-depth qualitative cross-national study of the child care strategies of 112 mothers working in secretarial or clerical occupations in two countries with very different configurations of ‘political motherhood’, namely, France and Britain, the article assesses the impact of these varying policy environments on the construction of mothering in the everyday lives of employed women.

It finds that different configurations of political motherhood have a significant impact on the practical aspects of these women's child care strategies but less impact on their fundamental conceptions of the duties and responsibilities of mothering. It concludes by considering the significance of these findings for current debates concerning the role of the state in perpetuating or combating unequal gender relations.

Item Type: Article
Copyright, Publisher and Additional Information: © 1999 Cambridge University Press. Reproduced in accordance with the publisher's self-archiving policy.
Institution: The University of Sheffield
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > Department of Politics (Sheffield) > Political Economy Research Centre (Sheffield)
The University of Sheffield > University of Sheffield Research Centres and Institutes > Political Economy Research Centre (Sheffield)

The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Arts and Humanities (Sheffield) > School of Modern Languages (Sheffield) > Department of French (Sheffield)
Depositing User: Repository Assistant
Date Deposited: 19 Sep 2006
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2014 20:31
Published Version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0047279499005486
Status: Published
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Refereed: Yes
Identification Number: 10.1017/S0047279499005486
URI: http://eprints.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/1585

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