The Contradictions of Scientific Motherhood: Women, Childcare, and the Politics of Expertise
Troughout history, the overwhelming proportion of women have been mothers. Most significantly, worthy womanhood has been equated with motherhood. This apparent constancy masks dramatic transformations in the role of mothers and mothering practices over time, and particularly over the past 150 years, in the United States and other indus- trialized nations. Traditionally, women’s experiences had formed the basis of respected mothering practices; proper mothering techniques were considered either part of a woman’s innate knowledge, or taught her by her own mother and other female relatives and friends.