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Being a Good Mom: Low- Income, Black Single Mothers Negotiate Intensive Mothering.

Publication Year: 
Personal Author: 
Elliott, Sinikka.
Powell, Rachel.
Brenton, Joslyn.
Journal Article
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The tenacity of the intensive mothering ideology—the notion that good mothers should invest vast amounts of time, money, energy, and emotional labor in mothering—is well documented, particularly among affluent White mothers. Drawing on 16 interviews with low-income, Black single mothers, we analyze how gender, race, class, and the ideology of intensive mothering intersect to shape these mothers’ parenting. Mothers repeatedly emphasized the importance of sacrifice, self-reliance, and protection. In short, good mothers sacrifice for their children; they are self-reliant and teach their children to be this way too; and they protect their children. We argue that low-income mothers embrace and perform intensive motheringin the absence of larger social supports for their children’s upbringing and at a cost to their own emotional and physical well-being. (Author Abstract)

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