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  • Author or Editor: Lisa Moran x
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This Conclusion summarises the main points of the book, drawing on insights from global biographical and narrative research while revealing the complexities of social expectations of mothering and motherhood that prevail in contemporary societies. The Conclusion identifies many ways that this book contributes to existing literature, and, crucially, how it advances conceptual and empirical insights into mothers’ everyday lives, imagined futures and interconnecting past, present and future selves from the bottom-up perspective. The chapter brings the reader ‘full circle’ from the key question posed in the Preface ‘Why a book on modern mothering?,’ to providing future agendas for biographic narrative research. It explores fruitful conceptual and methodological avenues for transdisciplinary and interdisciplinary research dialogues.

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Life Choices, Identities and Methods

What does mothering mean in different cultures and societies? This book extensively applies biographical and narrative research methods to mothering from international perspectives.

This edited collection engages with changing attitudes and approaches to mothering from women’s individual biographical experiences, illuminating how socially anticipated tasks of mothering shaped through interlinking state, media, religious beliefs and broader society are reflected in their identities and individual life choices. Considering trust, rapport, reflexivity and self-care, this collection advances methodological practice in the study of mothers, carers and childless women’s lives.

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The Introduction provides an overview of extant state-of-the-art international biographical research scholarship on mothering. It specifically engages with the book’s principal themes, which both shape and reflect the multidimensionality of mothering in diverse social and cultural contexts, social circumstances and culturally anticipated narratives of idealised motherhoods. It further highlights the complexities of policy-based narratives of mothering and motherhood, which are socially and culturally variable, both in and across time, while underlining contradictions between policy-based understandings of mothering on the one hand and the complexities of women’s everyday lived experiences on the other. Key theoretical and biographical narrative methodological perspectives on mothering are discussed in relation to salient topics – definitions of mothering identities through the prism of biographical research methods – emphasising ethics and the cultural sensitivity of the biographical approach.

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