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Expectations and Realities: Motherhood and the Female ‘Choice’ Biography

  • Rachel Thomson
Chapter
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Part of the Palgrave Macmillan Studies in Family and Intimate Life book series (PSFL)

Abstract

Becoming a mother can be seen as a profound moment of personal change that ties women to the past, the future and each other. Yet what it means to be a mother is shape-shifting in line with women’s increased participation in work and education. The general trend is towards later motherhood, delaying the birth of a first child until education is completed and a career is well established. Emotional stability, financial security and the ‘right’ relationship are expected to fall in line with this life trajectory, making birth the apex of achievement for grown-up girls living the success story narrative of contemporary times. Yet for some young women first pregnancy comes early. Marked by disaffection from education, lack of opportunity and poor socio-economic circumstances, young motherhood may be the first act of adulthood rather than the highly prized goal of deferred gratification. Could it be that motherhood is becoming the site of a new social division between women?

Keywords

Family Life Female Employment Maternity Leave Young Mother Social Division 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Rachel Thomson 2014

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  • Rachel Thomson

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