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A study of new mothers and employment: social constructions and constraints.

Brannen, Julia, Mary (1990) A study of new mothers and employment: social constructions and constraints. PhD thesis, Institute of Education, University of London.

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The thesis is based on an empirical, longitudinal study of the experiences of 186 first-time, British mothers in dual earner households. These mothers who resumed full-time employment under the statutory maternity leave provisions, are compared with a smaller group of 70 'traditional' British mothers who expected to remain at home, at least for the first year of their children's lives. The study investigates women's experiences at four points after birth, the first when the children were 4-5 months old and the last when they reached three years old. The thesis is focused around four main substantive themes: the resumption of full-time employment following childbirth; the transition to motherhood in the context of the return to paid work; mothers' definitions of their partners' household and childcare contributions; and the availability and experience of support from informal social networks. The data were collected by means of extended interviews with the mothers. A combination of quantitative and qualitative approaches was adopted, both in the fieldwork method and the analysis of the data. The thesis explores the issue of choice versus constraint: the ways in which women construct their experiences of combining motherhood and employment, and the ways in which these experiences are structured and constrained by ideological and situational factors relating to the labour market, marriage, parenthood and social networks.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Controlled Keywords: Women's employment,Mother and child,Preschool children
Subjects: Departments > Children, Families and Health
Depositing User: Mr Andrew Welshman
Date Deposited: 01 May 2014 10:49
Last Modified: 23 Mar 2015 11:26
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