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Monstrous motherhood versus magical maternity?: an exploration of conflicting attitudes to maternity within health discourses and organizational settings

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Monstrous motherhood versus magical maternity? an exploration of conflicting attitudes to maternity within health discourses and organizational settings. / Gatrell, Caroline.

In: Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, Vol. 33, No. 7, 2014, p. 633-647.

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@article{9c6c305f3b8d492cae1280f39a06f89a,
title = "Monstrous motherhood versus magical maternity?: an exploration of conflicting attitudes to maternity within health discourses and organizational settings",
abstract = "Purpose– The purpose of this paper is to compare public health discourses on the importance of motherhood with organizational attitudes towards childbearing. It shows how pregnancy and the nurturing of infant children are valorized within public health discourses, which treat pregnancy and new maternity as a miraculous “project”, encouraging mothers to position maternity as central to their lives. By contrast, the paper shows how employers treat pregnancy and new motherhood as inconvenient and messy: as monstrous, at work.Design/methodology/approach– The paper draws upon a database of qualitative netnographic (or internet-based) research. It analyses netnographic interactions between pregnant and newly maternal women. These virtual data are afforded the same validity as face-to-face research.Findings– The paper demonstrates how maternal responsibilities for nurturing pregnancy and infant children, and the bio-medical properties of the maternal body, are central to public health discourses. By contrast, the maternal body is treated within organizations as alien, or monstrous.Originality/value– The paper compares and contrasts public health valorizations of motherhood, with organizational tendencies to treat pregnancy/newly maternal bodies as monstrous. It highlights dichotomies faced by employed mothers. A continuing chasm between the social organization of maternity, and the attitudes of employers towards children and maternal bodies, is identified.",
keywords = "Gender, Personal health, Family roles, Women workers",
author = "Caroline Gatrell",
note = "This article is (c) Emerald Group Publishing and permission has been granted for this version to appear here http://www.research.lancs.ac.uk/portal/en/publications/monstrous-motherhood-versus-magical-maternity(9c6c305f-3b8d-492c-ae12-80f39a06f89a).html Emerald does not grant permission for this article to be further copied/distributed or hosted elsewhere without the express permission from Emerald Group Publishing Limited.",
year = "2014",
doi = "10.1108/EDI-07-2012-0056",
language = "English",
volume = "33",
pages = "633--647",
journal = "Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal",
issn = "2040-7149",
publisher = "Emerald Group Publishing Ltd.",
number = "7",

}

RIS

TY - JOUR

T1 - Monstrous motherhood versus magical maternity?

T2 - an exploration of conflicting attitudes to maternity within health discourses and organizational settings

AU - Gatrell, Caroline

N1 - This article is (c) Emerald Group Publishing and permission has been granted for this version to appear here http://www.research.lancs.ac.uk/portal/en/publications/monstrous-motherhood-versus-magical-maternity(9c6c305f-3b8d-492c-ae12-80f39a06f89a).html Emerald does not grant permission for this article to be further copied/distributed or hosted elsewhere without the express permission from Emerald Group Publishing Limited.

PY - 2014

Y1 - 2014

N2 - Purpose– The purpose of this paper is to compare public health discourses on the importance of motherhood with organizational attitudes towards childbearing. It shows how pregnancy and the nurturing of infant children are valorized within public health discourses, which treat pregnancy and new maternity as a miraculous “project”, encouraging mothers to position maternity as central to their lives. By contrast, the paper shows how employers treat pregnancy and new motherhood as inconvenient and messy: as monstrous, at work.Design/methodology/approach– The paper draws upon a database of qualitative netnographic (or internet-based) research. It analyses netnographic interactions between pregnant and newly maternal women. These virtual data are afforded the same validity as face-to-face research.Findings– The paper demonstrates how maternal responsibilities for nurturing pregnancy and infant children, and the bio-medical properties of the maternal body, are central to public health discourses. By contrast, the maternal body is treated within organizations as alien, or monstrous.Originality/value– The paper compares and contrasts public health valorizations of motherhood, with organizational tendencies to treat pregnancy/newly maternal bodies as monstrous. It highlights dichotomies faced by employed mothers. A continuing chasm between the social organization of maternity, and the attitudes of employers towards children and maternal bodies, is identified.

AB - Purpose– The purpose of this paper is to compare public health discourses on the importance of motherhood with organizational attitudes towards childbearing. It shows how pregnancy and the nurturing of infant children are valorized within public health discourses, which treat pregnancy and new maternity as a miraculous “project”, encouraging mothers to position maternity as central to their lives. By contrast, the paper shows how employers treat pregnancy and new motherhood as inconvenient and messy: as monstrous, at work.Design/methodology/approach– The paper draws upon a database of qualitative netnographic (or internet-based) research. It analyses netnographic interactions between pregnant and newly maternal women. These virtual data are afforded the same validity as face-to-face research.Findings– The paper demonstrates how maternal responsibilities for nurturing pregnancy and infant children, and the bio-medical properties of the maternal body, are central to public health discourses. By contrast, the maternal body is treated within organizations as alien, or monstrous.Originality/value– The paper compares and contrasts public health valorizations of motherhood, with organizational tendencies to treat pregnancy/newly maternal bodies as monstrous. It highlights dichotomies faced by employed mothers. A continuing chasm between the social organization of maternity, and the attitudes of employers towards children and maternal bodies, is identified.

KW - Gender

KW - Personal health

KW - Family roles

KW - Women workers

U2 - 10.1108/EDI-07-2012-0056

DO - 10.1108/EDI-07-2012-0056

M3 - Journal article

VL - 33

SP - 633

EP - 647

JO - Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal

JF - Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal

SN - 2040-7149

IS - 7

ER -