The Dynamics of Motherhood Project (MoMM2) is an intergenerational project which will investigate into the ways in which mothers, and their families negotiate the arrival of a new generation.
The Dynamics of Motherhood (MoMM2) project will build on the current study The Making of Modern Motherhoods: memories, representations and practices (MoMM) which is part of the ESRC Identities and Social Action Programme (Jan 05- Dec 07). The MoMM project explores the different ways in which women make sense of the meaning of first time motherhood, both in relation to popular constructions of the ‘good mother’ and in relation to private and more public intergenerational narratives. 12 intergenerational case studies have been constructed, drawing on two sweeps of interviews (during pregnancy and one year after the birth) with first time mothers, and, where possible, interviews with their mothers, grandmothers and a nominated ‘significant other’ (e.g. partner, father, sibling or friend). The mothers’ identity work is being traced over the first year of parenthood, exploring tensions between ideals and practices.
The DoM project will extend and deepen the project over a further two years period (Jan 08-Dec 09), drawing on 6 of the case studies for detailed investigation over the four years since the study began. Methods will include repeat in-depth interviews with mothers, grandmothers and significant others at yearly intervals; participant observation of special events and routine family practices; ‘day in a life’ shadowing; memory books (Thomson and Holland 2005); visual data. This will enable us to more fully explore the ways in which mothers, and the families they are part of, negotiate the arrival of a new generation. The project will combine a longitudinal and intergenerational design in order to explore the complex array of temporal registers that characterise family life at a time of acceleration and social change (Morgan 2005)
Prof. Rachel Thomson, Principle Investigator, Faculty of Health and Social Care, The Open University. Tel: 01908 654246
Dr. Mary Jane Kehily, Co-director, Faculty of Education and Language Studies, The Open University. Tel: 01908 659260
Lucy Hadfield, Research Fellow, Faculty of Health and Social Care, The Open University. Tel: 01908 655106
Sue Sharpe, Research Consultant.
Hadfield,L., Rudoe, N., Sanderson-Mann, J. (2007) Motherhood, Choice and The British Media: A Time to Reflect, Gender and Education 19,2.
Hadfield, L. The Importance of the Visual Image for The Making of Modern Motherhoods , BSA Sociology of Reproduction Annual Conference, Milton Keynes, 8/12/05
Hadfield, L.The Trauma of Carrying out Research into Disabled Motherhood, paper presented to, The Health and Social Care Postgraduate Conference, The Open University July 2005.
Thomson, R, Kehily, M.J, Hadfield, L., Sharpe, S. The Making of Modern Motherhoods, BSA Family Studies Group Annual Conference, Keele, 13-14/02/05
Thomson, R. Dynamic identities: thinking intergenerationally', Grandparents and childcare: recent research and its implications for public policy, Seminar organised by Families and Social Capital, an ESRC Research Group, Oct 6th 2005, London South Bank University.
Thomson, R. 'A response to Angela McRobbie's lecture - The new sexual contract:: young women's identities today', The ESRC Identities and Social Action programme Lecture 2006, the Open University Feb 1st 2006.
Thomson, R.'Researching personal and social change', Faculty of Education, Deakin University, Victoria, June 2nd 2006.
Thomson, R.'The making of modern motherhood: memories, representations and practices', Identities and Social Action annual meeting, July 11-12 2006, Aston Business School, Birmingham.
Thomson, R.'Stories of conception: remembering, forgetting and becoming a mother', presented in Symposium on ESRC Identities and Social Action research 'Remembering and forgetting: memory, identity and narrative'. British Sociological Association conference April 12-14, 2007, University of East London.