Academic Motherhood in a Post-Second Wave Context. by D. Lynn O'Brien Hallstein, Andrea O'Reilly

By D. Lynn O'Brien Hallstein, Andrea O'Reilly

Participants element what it capacity to be a tutorial mom and to consider educational motherhood, whereas additionally exploring either the private and particular institutional demanding situations educational ladies face, the multifaceted concepts varied educational girls are imposing to control these demanding situations, and investigating varied theoretical chances for a way we predict approximately educational motherhood.

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Conversely, she also argues that intersectional work must recognize that the ideological and material reality of contemporary maternity requires a strategic focus on gender and feminism, capital “f” feminism, while also suggesting an alliance perspective requires an eradication of the younger-older, matrophobic generational structure that undergirds third wave intersectionality. Finally, she concludes with a preliminary discussion of what a future alliance, grounded in a politics of accountability, must entail theoretically as we begin to develop specific strategies of resistance against the barriers and challenges that impede academic mothers.

The chapters, in fact, have considered the ongoing specific challenges academic mothers have faced, the strategies they have developed to negotiate the challenges of their postsecond wave split subjectivity, and new intellectual possibilities for how we think about contemporary academic motherhood, while revealing that much more work needs to be done and that the conversation within a post-second wave context must continue. Even so, we think that two general conclusions emerge from the book about where and how feminist maternal scholars can focus attention if they want to challenge and change key issues that face academic mothers.

Indeed, as Kathleen Christensen, director of the Workplace, Workforce and Working Families at the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation comments: “There is only one genuinely legitimate career path in the academy. It’s very rigid, up or out, and you have to get on and stay on or you’re penalized if you deviate” (qtd. in Wilson 3). The literature reviewed above reveals that the relatively low wages of professors, lower rates of marriage for academics, and the lengthy and highly specialized career path of post-secondary teaching all support our contention that the structure of academia and concurrent norms make academia, in several key ways, more challenging for mothers in general and specifically in comparison to law and medicine.

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