Teenage motherhood and the regulation of mothering in the scientific literature: the South African example.

Macleod, C. (2001) Teenage motherhood and the regulation of mothering in the scientific literature: the South African example. Feminism & Psychology, 11 (4). pp. 493-511. ISSN 0959-3535

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0959353501011004004/

Abstract

The mainstream literature on teenage pregnancy highlights teenagers' inadequate mothering as an area of disquiet. `Revisionists', such as feminist critics, point out that a confluence of negative social factors is implicated in teenagers' mothering abilities. Whether arguing that teenagers make bad mothers or defending them against this, the literature relies on the `invention of "good" mothering'. In this article I highlight the taken-for-granted assumptions concerning mothering (mothering as an essentialized dyad; mothering as a skill; motherhood as a pathway to adulthood; fathering as the absent trace) appearing in the scientific literature on teenage pregnancy in South Africa. I indicate how these assumptions are implicated in the regulation of mothering through the positioning of the teenage mother as the pathologized other, the splitting of the public from the private, domestic space of mothering, and the legitimation of the professionalization of mothering. I explore the gendered implications of the representations of mothering in this literature.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:feminism, mothering, teenage motherhood, poststructuralism, psychologised literature
Subjects:Y Unknown > Subjects to be assigned
Divisions:Faculty > Faculty of Humanities > Psychology
ID Code:612
Deposited By: tracy morison
Deposited On:04 Jul 2007
Last Modified:06 Jan 2012 16:18
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