- Membership / Join Us
- Store / Online Shop
- Weekly Alert Newsletter
- News Stories & Analysis
- Conference Reports
- Conference Calendar
- Parent Information
- Childcare/ECE Options
- Articles on ECE Services
- Making a Complaint
- Fees, Childcare Subsidy & Funding Rates
- Research Snippets
- ECE Jargon Dictionary
- Feedback Testimonials
- Training for Early Childhood Teaching
Making Choices: Contradictions and Commonalities in the Valuing of Caring and Working by Government Policy and First Time Mothers
By Ella R Kahu and Mandy Morgan
This paper examines the discourses which construct women’s identities as mother and worker. In order to explore the discursive interface between policy and experience, two texts were analysed and compared: the
The policy document privileged paid work and constructed women’s caregiving responsibilities as a demand. For the women, although paid work was financially and psychologically important, their priority was their mothering.
The analysis reveals the increasing dominance of discourses of economic rationalism, which elevate market work to the status of essential and diminish the importance of reproduction and care. We argue that these discourses do not serve women, men, or children well. Although the women drew upon newer discourses which enable a more comfortable weaving together of their identities of mother and worker, this must not be seen as the total solution.
What is needed is a more complete breakdown of the public/private divide: a society which values care and work, both as responsibilities and rewards of citizenship, and which will therefore allow both women and men to construct more balanced lives and identities.
To view the full article and read comments please Login with your ChildForum member username and password.
If you are a member but your login is not working:
(a) check that your membership is current and renew by taking out a further 12 months of membership.