Volume 12, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1387-6740
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9935
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One of the most dominant cultural narratives is ‘the story of mothering’ but as many researchers have documented, there is a large chasm between this cultural product and individuals’ lived experiences of mothering and being mothered. When individuals talk about their relationships with their mothers, they locate themselves — knowingly or not — politically, economically, and historically. This article analyses data based on in-depth interviews with four men and women between the ages of seventy-five and ninety, and explores the stories they tell about the role of their mothers in relation to the children they were and the adults they became. Of the four cases presented, two involve child beating, in one the mother is absent from the time of the speaker’s early childhood, and one is an account of maternal depression. However, as these individuals recount their early memories of their mothers, they do so as people who have developed significantly since that time. Implicitly challenging the deterministic mother-blaming which lies at the heart of key cultural narratives, these men and women reveal a deep level of understanding — both personal and political — of the difficult circumstances which form the context of many peoples’ experiences of mothering and being mothered.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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