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Maternal Body work: How Women Managers and professionals negotiate pregnancy and new motherhood at work

Gatrell, C J (2013) Maternal Body work: How Women Managers and professionals negotiate pregnancy and new motherhood at work. Human Relations, 66 (5). pp. 621-644. ISSN 0018-7267

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Abstract

This article builds on the theorizing of body work through introducing a new concept: ‘maternal body work’. In so doing, it shows how progress towards a feminist politics of motherhood within organizations remains limited. Despite decades of feminist scholarship, dissonances remain between the private worlds of reproduction and public worlds of organization. With regard to this limited progress, the article reveals how, among a sample of 27 mothers (all professionally and managerially employed in the UK), 22 felt marginalized and undervalued at work, experiencing the borders between maternity and organization as unmalleable. By contrast, five women treated borders between reproduction and organization as more fluid than anticipated. Setting a high value on their skills, they developed strategies for parrying unfavourable revisions of their status. The article concludes by considering the potential development of resources for enhancing maternal coping strategies.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Human Relations
Uncontrolled Keywords: abjection ; employed mothers ; marginalization ; maternal body work ; pregnancy ; women managers ; work and family
Subjects:
Departments: Lancaster University Management School > Management Learning & Leadership
ID Code: 45559
Deposited By: ep_importer_pure
Deposited On: 11 Jul 2011 19:34
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 13 Jun 2014 13:11
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/45559

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