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Revolutionary mothers?: Interacting power relations, agency, and social change
Uppsala University, Humanistisk-samhällsvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Sociology.
2008 (English)In: NORA: Nordic Journal of Feminist and Gender Research, ISSN 0803-8740, Vol. 16, no 2, 96-113 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In this article a theoretical discussion about intersectionality is carried out in dialogue with the ways in which battered and separated mothers deal with their children’s situation and their relationship to their violent co-parents/ex-partners. In line with Connell’s (1987)[ argument that categories such as gender are shaped by several structures and that the social order is inherently instable due to historic “unevenness”, contradictions and internal differentiation, it is shown how abused mothers both follow and undermine well-established notions of childhood, gender, and parenthood when trying to tackle their situation post separation or divorce. What is, furthermore, shown is how their “doing” of age, gender and kinship entails both dichotomisation and neutralisation. It is argued that constructions prominent in public discussions about children at risk – the intrinsic value of childhood, children’s right to personal integrity and need of safety and protection – serve as a resource when the interviewees argue against the norm prescribing contact between children and fathers post separation and divorce. Two established constructions of the child’s best interest are set up against each other when the mothers try to undermine power associated with the father position. An empirically sensitive and actor centred intersectional analysis must be sophisticated enough to grasp such complexities if we are to be able to fully explore possibilities for social change.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2008. Vol. 16, no 2, 96-113 p.
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-17628OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-17628DiVA: diva2:45399
Available from: 2008-07-29 Created: 2008-07-29 Last updated: 2011-01-11

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