Exploring self-sacrifice, role captivity and motherhood

Sara Cantillon, Martina Hutton

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

Abstract

This chapter explores the cultural subsuming of self sacrifice and motherhood focusing in particular on the concepts of choice and role captivity within households with children. Feminist theorists have long argued that the family acts as a central mechanism in the reproduction of gender inequality. The tendency for women, especially mothers, to channel their extra resources into household consumption has significant effects in terms of the differential levels of deprivation experienced by men, women and children within the same family. Drawing on two different data sets from Ireland, the chapter looks at the role of women within household managing scarce resources often at their own personal cost and why this is often seen as a “badge of honour” or personal empowerment rather than deprivation at an individual level or inequality. Secondly, it looks at the issue of role strain/role captivity

We find that not only were mothers more likely to “go without”, but that this was implicitly sanctioned within a hegemonic family discourse which saw the welfare of the children as the primary responsibility of the woman, and which normalised the idea that the woman should make sacrifices to this end. A key question in the reproduction of gender inequality in the family therefore relates to the ability of the family unit to disguise and sanction such inequality.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThriving Mothers: Depriving Mothers
EditorsKarine Levasseur, Stephanie Paterson, Lorna Turnbull
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2019

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motherhood
deprivation
gender
honor
resources
sanction
Ireland
empowerment
welfare
responsibility
discourse
ability
costs

Cite this

Cantillon, S., & Hutton , M. (Accepted/In press). Exploring self-sacrifice, role captivity and motherhood. In K. Levasseur, S. Paterson, & L. Turnbull (Eds.), Thriving Mothers: Depriving Mothers
Cantillon, Sara ; Hutton , Martina . / Exploring self-sacrifice, role captivity and motherhood. Thriving Mothers: Depriving Mothers. editor / Karine Levasseur ; Stephanie Paterson ; Lorna Turnbull. 2019.
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abstract = "This chapter explores the cultural subsuming of self sacrifice and motherhood focusing in particular on the concepts of choice and role captivity within households with children. Feminist theorists have long argued that the family acts as a central mechanism in the reproduction of gender inequality. The tendency for women, especially mothers, to channel their extra resources into household consumption has significant effects in terms of the differential levels of deprivation experienced by men, women and children within the same family. Drawing on two different data sets from Ireland, the chapter looks at the role of women within household managing scarce resources often at their own personal cost and why this is often seen as a “badge of honour” or personal empowerment rather than deprivation at an individual level or inequality. Secondly, it looks at the issue of role strain/role captivityWe find that not only were mothers more likely to “go without”, but that this was implicitly sanctioned within a hegemonic family discourse which saw the welfare of the children as the primary responsibility of the woman, and which normalised the idea that the woman should make sacrifices to this end. A key question in the reproduction of gender inequality in the family therefore relates to the ability of the family unit to disguise and sanction such inequality.",
author = "Sara Cantillon and Martina Hutton",
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Cantillon, S & Hutton , M 2019, Exploring self-sacrifice, role captivity and motherhood. in K Levasseur, S Paterson & L Turnbull (eds), Thriving Mothers: Depriving Mothers.

Exploring self-sacrifice, role captivity and motherhood. / Cantillon, Sara; Hutton , Martina .

Thriving Mothers: Depriving Mothers. ed. / Karine Levasseur; Stephanie Paterson; Lorna Turnbull. 2019.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)

TY - CHAP

T1 - Exploring self-sacrifice, role captivity and motherhood

AU - Cantillon, Sara

AU - Hutton , Martina

N1 - Returned to entry in progress (accepted in 2020) with note to author - ET 1/2/19 ^Author feedback - confirmed accepted in 2019 and due for publication in 2020. Author will confirm once published for record update. ET

PY - 2019

Y1 - 2019

N2 - This chapter explores the cultural subsuming of self sacrifice and motherhood focusing in particular on the concepts of choice and role captivity within households with children. Feminist theorists have long argued that the family acts as a central mechanism in the reproduction of gender inequality. The tendency for women, especially mothers, to channel their extra resources into household consumption has significant effects in terms of the differential levels of deprivation experienced by men, women and children within the same family. Drawing on two different data sets from Ireland, the chapter looks at the role of women within household managing scarce resources often at their own personal cost and why this is often seen as a “badge of honour” or personal empowerment rather than deprivation at an individual level or inequality. Secondly, it looks at the issue of role strain/role captivityWe find that not only were mothers more likely to “go without”, but that this was implicitly sanctioned within a hegemonic family discourse which saw the welfare of the children as the primary responsibility of the woman, and which normalised the idea that the woman should make sacrifices to this end. A key question in the reproduction of gender inequality in the family therefore relates to the ability of the family unit to disguise and sanction such inequality.

AB - This chapter explores the cultural subsuming of self sacrifice and motherhood focusing in particular on the concepts of choice and role captivity within households with children. Feminist theorists have long argued that the family acts as a central mechanism in the reproduction of gender inequality. The tendency for women, especially mothers, to channel their extra resources into household consumption has significant effects in terms of the differential levels of deprivation experienced by men, women and children within the same family. Drawing on two different data sets from Ireland, the chapter looks at the role of women within household managing scarce resources often at their own personal cost and why this is often seen as a “badge of honour” or personal empowerment rather than deprivation at an individual level or inequality. Secondly, it looks at the issue of role strain/role captivityWe find that not only were mothers more likely to “go without”, but that this was implicitly sanctioned within a hegemonic family discourse which saw the welfare of the children as the primary responsibility of the woman, and which normalised the idea that the woman should make sacrifices to this end. A key question in the reproduction of gender inequality in the family therefore relates to the ability of the family unit to disguise and sanction such inequality.

M3 - Chapter (peer-reviewed)

BT - Thriving Mothers: Depriving Mothers

A2 - Levasseur, Karine

A2 - Paterson, Stephanie

A2 - Turnbull, Lorna

ER -

Cantillon S, Hutton M. Exploring self-sacrifice, role captivity and motherhood. In Levasseur K, Paterson S, Turnbull L, editors, Thriving Mothers: Depriving Mothers. 2019