From the post-war period, with its emphasis on expanding educational possibilities for all children, to equal opportunities in the 1970s and 80s, the prevailing notion has been that "natural" mothering would produce "normal" children, fit for the new democratic age. These ideas have become commonsense ones, but at what cost to the lives of women? The authors explore these effects by examining a study of four-year-olds with their mothers, and in doing so, they tell us a different story about the divides of class and gender and consequent social inequalities. The authors argue that, although ideas from developmental psychology are held to be progressive, they serve to support the view that there is something wrong with working-class mothering which could be put right by making it more middle-class. But nor is the middle-class home one of happy normality: in both classes, women are differently, but oppressively, regulated. In this book, the authors call for a new feminist engagement with class and gender socialization to constitute a new politics of difference.
|Place of Publication||London|
|Number of pages||245|
|Publication status||Published - 1989|