The Good Mother

Contemporary Motherhoods in Australia

Edited by Susan Goodwin and Kate Huppatz

Regular price $35.00 Sale

Format: paperback
260 pages
ISBN: 9781920899530

Publication: 21 Sep 2010

Publisher: Sydney University Press

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The Good Mother brings together essays on the contemporary relevance of the 'good mother' in Australia. Although the ideals of the 'good mother' change with time, fashion and context, they persist in public policy, the media, popular culture and workplaces. They place pressure on women to conform to particular standards, against which they are judged and judge themselves.

This book captures the diversity of contemporary women's experiences. Chapters address the experiences of executive mothers, mothers working in manual trades, 'yummy mummies' and 'slummy mummies', low income mothers, single mothers, Indigenous mothers, lesbian parents, adoptive mothers and mothers negotiating schools and school choice. The essays demonstrate that while the 'good mother' is no longer exclusively white, heterosexual, economically dependent and child focused, prevailing ideas about mothers and motherhood continue to influence the way 'types' of women are represented and the way that all mothers think, act and present themselves.

Kate Huppatz is a lecturer in sociology at Western Sydney University.

Susan Goodwin is senior lecturer in policy studies at the University of Sydney.


About the authors

1. The good mother in theory and research: an overview
 Susan Goodwin and Kate Huppatz
2. Good executive, good mother: contradictory devotions
 Colleen Chesterman and Anne Ross-Smith
3. Mother of all constructions: mothers in male-dominated work
 Louisa Smith
4. Mothers making class distinctions: the aesthetics of maternity
 Susan Goodwin and Kate Huppatz
5. Good mothers go school shopping
 Claire Aitchison
6. The good mother and the high school: a view from the 20th century
 Helen Proctor
7. Mothers and mutual obligation: policy reforming the good mother
 Megan Blaxland
8. Misrepresenting Indigenous mothers: maternity allowances in the media
 Leanne Cutcher and Talila Milroy
9. Aboriginal mother yarns
 Jane Moore and Lynette Riley
10. Mother impossible: the experiences of lesbian parents
 Margot Rawsthorne
11. Being a real mother: adoptive mothers’ experiences
 Denise Lynch


Format: paperback
Size: 210 × 148 × 14 mm
260 pages
2 b&w illustrations
Copyright: © 2010
ISBN: 9781920899530
Publication: 21 Sep 2010