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'I'm so much more myself now, coming back to work' - Working class mothers, paid work and childcare

Braun, A; Vincent, C; Ball, SJ; (2008) 'I'm so much more myself now, coming back to work' - Working class mothers, paid work and childcare. Journal of Education Policy , 23 (5) pp. 533-548. 10.1080/02680930802054370. Green open access

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Abstract

This paper explores the ways in which working class mothers negotiate mothering and paid work. Drawing on interviews with 70 families with pre-school children, we examine how caring and working responsibilities are conceptualised and presented in mothers' narratives. Mothers showed a high degree of commitment to paid work and, in contrast to findings from an earlier study with middle class and professional mothers, did not feel that keeping their children at home with them was always the best option for the children. We suggest that working class mothers in the labour market remain at risk of being defined as inadequate mothers because of a middle class emphasis on intense maternal engagement with the child as a key aspect of 'good' mothering.

Type: Article
Title: 'I'm so much more myself now, coming back to work' - Working class mothers, paid work and childcare
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/02680930802054370
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Education > UCL Institute of Education > IOE - Education, Practice and Society
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1498317
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