Feminism, psychology and becoming a mother

Hollway, Wendy (2016). Feminism, psychology and becoming a mother. Feminism & Psychology, 26(2) pp. 137–152.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0959353515625662


The period of becoming a mother is a fundamental issue for feminism and a challenging one for psychology, involving a specific set of psychological processes and psychic changes that are hard to access through available language and discourses. How we understand, theorise and represent the perinatal period of mothering reaches into questions of gender equality and gender difference, parenting and how feminist psychology has tended to treat women’s reproductive bodies and the biological. To explore these themes, the article draws on a piece of empirical research about becoming a mother for the first time, using matrixial theory to point beyond the binaries in feminist psychological accounts of women’s reproductive capacities, parental care and gender equality.

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