Positioning the experience of motherhood within the social network of family relationships Cover Image

Pozicioniranje iskustva materinstva unutar socijalne mreže porodičnih odnosa
Positioning the experience of motherhood within the social network of family relationships

Author(s): Isidora Jarić
Subject(s): Social Sciences
Published by: Sociološko naučno društvo Srbije
Keywords: Motherhood; family; self-sacrificing micro-matriarchy; adjustment; solidarity

Summary/Abstract: The experience of motherhood is, in a symbolic sense, one of the most important women’s experiences closely associated with constructs emphasized femininity (Connell, 1987). It is a social experience that incorporates internal ambivalence. On the one hand it is one of the most intimate experiences through which women discover new frontiers of the relations with themselves and their own bodies. On the other hand it is a social construct through which different power relations that exist within the society and culture they belong to refract, and reshape their relations with others. This paper attempts to reconstruct how women of different ages, education and social background in their narratives conceptualize their own social experiences related to motherhood, strategies of a đustments and changes that these experiences produce related to their position within the social network of family relationships. On the basis of the collected empirical data within project Politics of Parenthood of Institute for Sociological Research (Faculty of Philosophy, University of Belgrade) the paper reconstructs two basic types of a đustment strategies which women use in order to find a balance between their own construct of motherhood, and its own related identity positions, on the one hand, and frustrated and disempowered (wider and narrower) referent social contexts. These strategies are: (a) strategy of conforming or mimicry, which is being implemented in two possible ways through: full acceptance of the ideological and normative positions that dominate within the referent family network, and the practice of self-sacrificing micro-matriarchy (Blagojević, 1997); and (b) strategy of active confrontation, which is also being implemented in two different ways through: indirect confrontation (distancing strategies), and / or direct confrontation.

  • Issue Year: 56/2014
  • Issue No: 4
  • Page Range: 458-473
  • Page Count: 16
  • Language: Serbian