© 2020

Education, Work and Catholic Life

Stories of Three Generations of Australian Mothers and Daughters


  • Provides a conceptual lens on three generations of Australian mothers and daughters, exploring non-linear transitions across education, work and the life course

  • Brings a fresh and engaging perspective on the ways religious and cultural discourses mark women’s lives

  • Includes photographs of personal memorabilia, adding a personal and engrossing dimension to the book’s rigorous and scholarly content

  • Offers insights from a range of experts on youth transitions, cultural studies, and girls’ and schooling

  • Provides an important addition to the field of qualitative longitudinal research


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiv
  2. Beginnings

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Anne Keary
      Pages 3-21
    3. Anne Keary, Kirsten Hutchison
      Pages 57-72
  3. Fluid Transitions: Continuity and Change in Education, Training and Work

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 73-73
    2. Lucas Walsh, Anne Keary
      Pages 113-134
  4. A Woman’s Life Reflected

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 135-135
    2. Anne Keary, Julie Faulkner
      Pages 151-162
    3. Anne Keary, Julie Faulkner
      Pages 179-199
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 209-248

About this book


This book reports on innovative interdisciplinary research in the field of cultural studies. The study spans the early twentieth to twenty-first centuries and fills a gap in our understanding of how girls’ and women’s religious identity is shaped by maternal and institutional relations. 

The unique research focuses on the stories of thirteen groups of Australian mothers and daughters, including the maternal genealogy of the editor of the book.  Extended conversations conducted twenty years apart provide a situated approach to locating the everyday practices of women, while the oral storytelling presents a rich portrayal of how these girls and women view themselves and their relationship as mothers and daughters. 

The book introduces the key themes of education, work and life transitions as they intersect with generational change and continuity, gender and religion, and the non-linear transitional stories are told across the life-course examining how Catholic pasts shaped, and continue to shape, the participants’ lives. 

Adopting a multi-methodological approach to research drawing on photographs, memorabilia passed among mothers and daughters, journal entries and letters, it describes how women’s lives are lived in different spaces and negotiated through diverse material and symbolic dimensions.


Qualitative Longitudinal Research Australian Mother-daughter Relationship Inter-generational Relationships Generation and Change Girls' Education in Australia Women's Life Trajectories in Australia Australian Female Youth Transitions Australian Women's Study and Work Transitions Catholic Schooling in Australia Multi-methodological Approach to Research

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of EducationMonash UniversityClaytonAustralia

About the authors

Anne Keary is a lecturer at the Faculty of Education, Monash University. She is an experienced educator who has taught across the early childhood, schools and higher education sectors. Anne’s research, teaching and engagement work has focused on the provision of socially just education in a range of diverse communities. Her current research interests include qualitative longitudinal research into intergenerational relationships, the impact of conflict through the generations, and pedagogies for language education.

Bibliographic information