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Title:Transmission and change in South African motherhood: black mothers in three-generational Cape Town families
Author:Moore, Elena
Year:2013
Periodical:Journal of Southern African Studies (ISSN 0305-7070)
Volume:39
Issue:1
Pages:151-170
Language:English
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:mothers
generation conflicts
family
self-concept
Link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/03057070.2013.764713
Abstract:This article explores changes in the conceptualization of motherhood, drawing upon life history interviews with six families over three generations in Cape Town. The author examines the practice of mothering, how women of each generation talked about motherhood and how maternal identity is transmitted over time and across generations. In particular, the author investigates the ways in which marriage and motherhood have uncoupled within a changing socio-historical context. Findings from a South Africa-wide attitudinal survey and a case study demonstrate how structural and cultural changes have influenced the model of 'good mothering' in the youngest generation. Notions of motherhood have changed from solely cultivating a 'good provider and caring role' toward a growing emphasis on achieving personal goals and working on 'the project of the self'. Meanwhile the absence of men as participatory caregivers remains a continuous theme across generations. This research contributes fresh insights to the discussion of motherhood in South Africa while drawing on some of the broader contextualization and generational models adopted in previous studies. Notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]
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