Parenting, lone motherhood and the breakdown of the family ae all subjects of current political and social debate in the West, and there is little agreement among cultural commentators on what mothers should be, what children need, and how those needs conflict with the needs of parents. Feminists have played a large part in these debates in recent years, reacting particularly to negative portrayal of lone mothers in the press and the implications thay they are the source of other social problems. Mothering and Ambivalence brings together authors from therapeutic, academic and social work backgrounds to address these issues, but counters the reluctance of current feminist literature to embrace psychoanalytic understandings of dependency, anxiety and identity. Drawing on extensive professional experience the contributors use psychoanalysis to go beyond the often simplistic claims of the political debate to mothering. In their discussions of parenting and gender relations within families, the authors also surmount the narrowness of purely feminist polemics, keeping in view the importance of the diverse identities for women who become mothers.
For all who are frustrated with the polarised debate about women's and children's needs and rights, this book offers and intersubjective approach to the emotional life of mothers, examining what it feels like to mother amid the pressures of contemporary social life. Wendy Hollway, University of Leeds; Brid Featherstone, University of Bradford; Stephen Frosh, Birkbeck College, University of London; Susie Orbach, Psychotherapist; Rozs
Wendy Holloway is Reader in Gender Relations at the University of Leeds. Brid Featherstone is a Lecturer in Social Work at the University of Bradford