The Supermom syndrome : an intervention against the need to be king of the mothering mountain
Oliver, Nicole L.
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SubjectMotherhood; Mothers; Feminism; Poststructuralism; Identity (Psychology); Performative (Philosophy); Power (Social sciences); Ethnography (Research methodology); Interviews (Research methodology)
Through a layered account format combining theory, performative autoethnographic vignettes, and dialogical exchanges, the author explores the performances of Supermotherhood as they materialize within her life and potentially within the lives of, and through interactions with, other mothers inside and outside of her immediate peer group. The author analyses the ways the pervasive ideology of perfect mothering manifests itself within motherhood culture, and how it ultimately impacts maternal agency, self worth, and by extension, the family unit, and the culture of motherhood-mothering in general. Guided by a feminist poststructuralist approach, the author argues that the Supermom, or rather, Super Mom meta-identity offers all subjective labels and ideologies of mothering a place to become and celebrate possibility, individuality, transition, and maternal empowerment. Keywords: mothering; feminism; performative identity; autoethnography; poststructuralist feminism; maternal empowerment; layered account
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