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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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PRINTED FROM COLUMBIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.columbia.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Minnesota Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CUPSO for personal use.date: 23 February 2020

Maternalism Reconfigured?

Maternalism Reconfigured?

(p.95) 4 Maternalism Reconfigured?
Confronting Postmaternal Thinking

Julie Stephens

Columbia University Press

This chapter documents the whirlwind of online activity around motherhood. It analyzes the extent to which the so-called new mothers’ movement points to a reconfigured maternalism or reproduces the problems associated with the maternalism of the past. It also raises questions about maternalist impulses in popular culture as a form of resistance to postmaternal thinking. It continues by returning to Sara Ruddick’s thoughtful contemplation of the epistemological connections between maternal thinking and peace often overlooked in later commentary on Ruddick’s work. It discusses forms of contemporary peace activism in the US to highlight the continuing relevance of Ruddick’s formulations. It considers Arlie Russell Hochschild’s discussion of the troubled relationship between market and nonmarket life, particularly in shifting emotions around ideas of work, home, dependency, and care. The chapter concludes with a call for a different kind of feminist maternalist politics.

Keywords:   motherhood, maternalism, postmaternal thinking, new mothers’ movement, Sara Ruddick, Arlie Russell Hochschild

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