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Confronting Postmaternal ThinkingFeminism, Memory, and Care$
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Julie Stephens

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780231149211

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231149211.001.0001

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(p.17) 1 Unmothering
Confronting Postmaternal Thinking

Julie Stephens

Columbia University Press

This chapter deals with the project of building the foundations for a concept of postmaternal thinking. Here key concepts such as neoliberalism are further defined and interpreted. It examines the most recent debates about the relationship between feminism and neoliberalism alongside other elements that contribute to an unmothering of society as a whole. In keeping with the effort to theorize postmaternal thinking, the chapter provides a more detailed analysis of Sara Ruddick’s conception of maternal thinking as well as some of the “afterlives” of her influential book Maternal Thinking: Toward a Politics of Peace. It concludes by positing a connection between postmaternal thinking and the dominant ways feminism has been remembered, including political structures of forgetting that shape feminist cultural memory.

Keywords:   postmaternal thinking, feminism, neoliberalism, unmothering, Sara Ruddick, forgetting, feminist cultural memory

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