Young women negotiating maternal subjectivities: the significance of social class
London Metropolitan University
Kim Allen works as a research fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies in Education, London Metropolitan University. She has a background in Media and Cultural Studies and seeks to apply an inter-disciplinary approach to examining issues of education and culture, and the relationships between these. She has researched widely on young people’s career aspirations and educational choices and the influence of popular culture and celebrity on these. Her AHRC-funded doctoral research examined the experiences and career aspirations of young women in performing arts education and training. Kim is also interested in intergenerational experiences of social mobility and the impact of these on young people’s relationships to education and work. She has presented and written about mother-daughter relationships and the place of the maternal in young women’s lives.
Jayne Osgood is Reader at London Metropolitan University. She has a background in critical feminist approaches to early childhood education and has research interests in critical discourse analysis; autobiographical narrative methods; and theorising identity construction. She has published widely on these issues. For example forthcoming publications include (2010) Professional and Social Identities in the Early Years: narratives from the nursery. London: Routledge; (2010). Government Policy and Childcare Workforce Reform: a critical discourse analysis, Journal of Education Policy and (2009); and Narrative methods in the nursery: acknowledging difference, problematising reciprocity, and questioning the nexus of power in research encounters, Reconceptualising Educational Research Methods (2011).
In this review article, we explore discursive configurations of motherhood and the ways in which class informs how young women engage with these in the construction of their biographies. Our theoretical starting point is principally sociological; we contend that the meanings and identities associated with 'the maternal' have been transformed by the impact of neo-liberalism, and that these produce dilemmas for young women as they constitute themselves as learners and future workers. This article reviews contemporary literature which engages with the ways in which the maternal is a key feature in the (re)making of classed and gendered identities.
How to Cite:
Allen, K. and Osgood, J., 2009. Young women negotiating maternal subjectivities: the significance of social class. Studies in the Maternal, 1(2), pp.1–17. DOI: http://doi.org/10.16995/sim.104