Unschooling motherhood : caring and belonging in mothers’ time-space

Von Benzon, Nadia (2021) Unschooling motherhood : caring and belonging in mothers’ time-space. Gender, Place and Culture, 28 (8). pp. 476-497. ISSN 0966-369X

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For mothers, time is experienced in unique patterns reflecting mother-child relationships shaped by caring responsibilities and producing notions of belonging. The temporal and spatial rhythms of mothers’ lives are determined by interembodiment and co-presence; particularly apparent when offspring are infants and incapable of independent mobility and self-care. For most mothers these rhythms evolve as children grow and develop, with a particular increase in independence experienced by many mothers when their children reach school age. However, for home educating mothers, the constant interembodiment and co-presence of the mother-child relationship extends into late childhood resulting in alternative habitus to mothers who attend to school and to work. This paper draws on blogs authored by unschooling mothers in the UK, Australia and the USA – mothers whose children engage in a child-led form of home education - to explore a geography of motherhood that contrasts with the mainstream experiences that determine socio-cultural and policy-generating expectations. In so doing, this paper contributes to geographical discourse concerning the way in which motherhood impacts on experiences of time and space whilst also challenging mainstream representations of motherhood and particularly the widespread problematisation of caring. This paper demonstrates the way that caring relationships embed an individual in complex reciprocal networks leading to a particular identity-in-space which in turn influences, and is influenced by, temporal rhythms.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Gender, Place and Culture
Additional Information:
This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Gender, Place and Culture on 29/06/2020, available online: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/0966369X.2020.1784100
Uncontrolled Keywords:
?? habitusinterembodimentmotherhoodtimesocial mediaunschoolinggender studiesdemographycultural studies ??
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Deposited On:
07 Jul 2020 11:35
Last Modified:
06 Apr 2024 23:46