This volume presents a fresh approach to the analysis of childrearing. By focusing on mothers' own understandings of their childrearing, the author reveals how differences in childrearing are rooted in fundamental ideas about the nature of social life and the place of the individual and the family within it.
Broad cultural concepts of family, individuality and the nature of childhood are discussed. The author analyzes the implications of mothers' ideas about these for key childrearing preoccupations of time, discipline and the independence of children. An important theme that emerges is the diversity behind the image of the 'ordinary family'. Drawing on empirical evidence of mothers' concerns and understandings of childrearing, the author illustrates how issues of power and the public/private divide are negotiated in the daily lives of mothers and their children.
Jane Ribbens is Senior Lecturer at Oxford Brookes University. She is co-author of Mothers and Education: Inside Out? Exploring Family Education Policy and Experience (with D Miriam, R Edwards and M Hughes, 1993), and Mothers Intuition? Choosing Secondary Schools (with D Miriam and A West, 1994).
Introduction PART ONE: CHILDREARING IN CONTEXT Childrearing, Psychology and Sociology The Feminist Study of Childrearing Individuals, Families and Children Friends and Relations PART TWO: PORTRAITS OF CHILDREARING IN FOUR MIDDLE INCOME HOUSEHOLDS Introduction to the Portraits Fitting Children into Adult Frameworks Fitting in around the Children Overview of the Portraits PART THREE: DEVELOPING THE PICTURES Conceptions of Children Childrearing Philosophies in Action Sociology and Childrearing Reconsidered Appendix: Further Details of the Sample