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  Home > Women and Gender Studies > Women's Studies >

Complex Inequality and Working Mothers
Complex Inequality and Working Mothers

Our Price:39.00
Authors: Clare O'Hagan
Affiliation: Research Fellow working on gender equality at the University of Limerick
Publication Year: Hardback March 2015
Pages: 296
Size: 234 x 156mm

ISBN: 9781782051244

This book explores the ways that women combine motherhood with paid work in contemporary Ireland and the consequences for individual women, families, childminders and Irish society. This book demonstrates the difficulties women encounter when trying to satisfy working and mothering lives which are governed by quite different values.

Drawing on focus groups and interviews with women who combine motherhood with paid work in Ireland, this book reveals the difficulties, complexities and dilemmas women experience and reveals that there is a complex system of inequality which occurs when women combine motherhood with paid work. These inequalities occur at individual, discursive, social and structural levels and their combination makes it difficult for women to satisfy working and mothering lives.

Contemporary society uses maternity to divide and conquer women, both in public and private spheres, and women's inequalities are maintained because the issue is privatised, women are silenced and ignored. This book looks at the gender system which creates this complex inequality and reveals that by privileging some women sometimes, enduring inequalities are created for all women.

Average Rating: Average Rating: 5 of 5 5 of 5 Total Reviews: 1 Write a review »

  1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
5 of 5 Complex Inequality and Working Mothers July 15, 2015
Reviewer: CHOICE-M. Gatta, Rutgers University and Wider Oppo from USA  
O'Hagan (Univ. of Limerick, Ireland) addresses an important theoretical and empirical gap in feminist scholarship by writing a comprehensive analysis of gender, work, and motherhood in Ireland.  Using the theoretical framework of feminist intersectionality along with in-depth interviews with a diverse group of working mothers, she significantly contributes to the understanding of how individuals experience inequalities and privilege in everyday life, and how various social structures - including state, workplace, family, and church - create and reinforce those inequalities.  Critical to O'Hagan's analysis is that she intentionally demonstrates the diversity of Irish working mothers, showing how they are not a monolithic group.  Instead, there are inequalities within the group, and as a result some women are able to experience greater privilege at times.  In her attempts to address the complex inequality that women experience, the author explores the impacts on women, children, families, child minders, and society.  She concludes with what she sees as a new gender regime rooted in challenging the traditional gendered ideology and organization of work and family, and proposes state policy structures to support that change.

Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above.

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