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    Motherhood and guilt in a pandemic: negotiating the "new" normal with a feminist identity

    Whiley, Lilith A. and Sayer, H. and Juanchich, M. (2021) Motherhood and guilt in a pandemic: negotiating the "new" normal with a feminist identity. Gender, Work & Organization 28 (S2), pp. 612-619. ISSN 0968-6673.

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    Mothers who work and identify as feminists have been thrust into a new ”COVID‐19 normal,” finding themselves taking on roles that are “at odds” with their feminist identity (i.e., the bulk of more “traditional” stay‐at‐home parenting, homeschooling, and domestic chores), while simultaneously navigating the expectations of neoliberal careerism embedded within female emancipation discourses that have been so hard‐won. In this piece, we draw on critical femininities to highlight how these identities are embedded in several push–pull discourses that simultaneously resonate and discord, and show that these understandings are difficult to detangle from neoliberal social constructions and expectations that have women self‐policing even their inner psyche lest we become “bad” feminists. Furthermore, we acknowledge how our sensemaking in this paper and our experiences are rooted in (and limited by) the socioeconomic privileges of being western white middle‐class cis‐gender women in predominantly non‐precarious positions—indeed, mothers who work are not a homogenous group and the many different voices reflect different levels of job security.


    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Business and Law > Birkbeck Business School
    Depositing User: Lilith Whiley
    Date Deposited: 12 May 2021 14:16
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 18:09


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