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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Pushing the limits of motherhood: narratives of older women in rural Zimbabwe
Author:Batisai, Kezia
Periodical:African Studies (ISSN 1469-2872)
Geographic term:Zimbabwe
elderly women
Abstract:Drawing on narratives of rurally-based Zimbabwean older women, this article analyses experiences of motherhood in relation to the country's shifting economic and socio-political landscapes. The narratives of these older women, who have nurtured their children and continue to do so way into (their children's) adulthood, push scholars to grapple with questions of motherhood in respect of intensive mothering. Intensive mothering points at the exclusivity of motherhood which frames the responsibility to provide and care for the children during their formative years as virtually the mothers'. Older women in this article are second and third generation mothers whose narratives challenge constructions of motherhood which limit intensive mothering to the formative stages of childrens lifecycle. The narratives raise questions like 'when does a woman cease to be a hands-on mother who vigorously provides for her adult children?'. Such questions are a way into existential and contextual realities of ageing in rural Zimbabwe. Contextual-based analyses explore the interaction between motherhood, socioeconomic and political change in Zimbabwe through language that assigns meaning to motherhood, ageing, and the state. Overall, the article offers the reader insight into how questions of motherhood, ageing, and the state might affect women located within equally volatile contexts across the globe. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]