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  • Author or Editor: Tanja Vehkakoski x
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This study examined how disabled women negotiated their stigmatised identity as mothers by presenting counter-narratives to the culturally dominant narrative of disabled motherhood. Eleven Finnish physically disabled mothers were interviewed. The data were analysed by focusing on these counter-narratives, their linguistic features and their functions in the interviews. The disabled mothers produced four types of counter-narratives about their motherhood experiences: (1) celebrating diverse motherhood through individual coping; (2) performing motherhood through collaborative caring; (3) boosting motherhood through praising one’s children; and (4) normalising (disabled women’s) motherhood through identifying with the mother community. All the counternarratives included explicit or implicit references to the culturally dominant narratives of disabled motherhood, but instead of taking their stigmatised identity for granted, they adopted a critical position towards it. Producing counter-narratives enabled the disabled mothers to position themselves as good mothers and care providers, and not as questionable mothers or recipients of care.

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This study examined how Finnish parents working non-standard hours (N=18) positioned institutional flexibly scheduled early childhood education and care (ECEC) as a link in their chain of childcare. Interview data, analysed following the principles of discursive psychology, yielded three discourses on flexibly scheduled ECEC: the discourse of the child’s best interest, the discourse of the labour market, and the discourse of equality of opportunity for the child. Flexibly scheduled ECEC was positioned in these discourses either as the last resort option for childcare, a safe haven for the child, a societal service enabling parents to work during non-standard hours or as a place for children’s learning. It is important to recognise the origins of these discourses and reflect on them to improve ECEC services, so that they meet the demands of safety as a link in the chain of childcare and increase the level of parental satisfaction with them.

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