Gauging The Experience of Mothering: A Sociological Investigation On Mothers Raising Children With Difference

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Moutan Roy


Myriads of sociological concepts within feminist literature exist that consider mother, motherhood and mothering to be a major part of their debate in positing the status of women in motherhood as an institution. “Of women born: Motherhood as experience and Institution” (1986) by Adrienne Rich is the best known literature on motherhood and mothering till date, though the institution of motherhood has been replaced with the experience of mothering in depicting the real challenges the women confronts with and empowerment that they earn overcoming these challenges. Lauri Umansky in “Motherhood Reconceived” (1996) ascertained two contending feminist views on motherhood. The first one views motherhood as a social compulsion or socially and culturally expected and accepted reality for women. This view claims that motherhood is an institution that practice women’s oppression and can been seen as a compromise that women make. The second view motherhood having a binding element that connects women. Understanding motherhood this way removes the element of patriarchy from the institution of motherhood. Umansky (1996) adopted the distinction made between “the patriarchal institution of motherhood and a non-patriarchal experience of mothering” made by Andrienne Rich in while he explored the difference between motherhood and mothering (O’Reilly, 2004:02).

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