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Troubling reflexivity: the identity flows of teachers becoming mothers

Thomson, Rachel and Kehily, Mary Jane (2011). Troubling reflexivity: the identity flows of teachers becoming mothers. Gender and Education, 23(3) pp. 233–245.

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This paper explores the transition to first-time motherhood as experienced by a small sub-sample of women engaged in the professional care of young children. In the context of a wider study of motherhood in the UK, their experience of combining work with new motherhood was distinctive. Women who professionally care for young children present a counter narrative to the view that teaching and motherhood can be blended. Negotiating the boundaries between work and motherhood produced a troubling reflexivity in which difficult feelings emerged and collided. Working in urban education involves emotionally intense forms of attachment that are disrupted by pregnancy. Becoming a mother prompts a renegotiation of professional and personal boundaries, leading women to pursue mothering as a separate enterprise, marked by individual solutions to care and career. Separating themselves from their working environment, women simultaneously isolate themselves from their middle-class counterparts who pay for childcare and return to work.

Item Type: Journal Item
Copyright Holders: 2011 Taylor & Francis
ISSN: 0954-0253
Keywords: teacher identities; maternal identities; work; motherhood; early years teaching
Academic Unit/School: Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS) > Health, Wellbeing and Social Care
Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS)
Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies (WELS) > Education, Childhood, Youth and Sport
Research Group: Centre for Research in Education and Educational Technology (CREET)
Education Futures
Item ID: 31526
Depositing User: Mary Jane Kehily
Date Deposited: 20 Jan 2012 12:26
Last Modified: 07 Dec 2018 15:05
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