Advertisement

MotherSpace: Disciplining through the Material and Discursive

  • Marsha Marotta

Abstract

The built spaces and discursive spaces that contemporary mothers inhabit constitute a powerful force that helps shape their subjectivities and their possibilities, define who mothers can be and what they can do at any given point in time. This chapter examines the role that space plays in creating and sustaining power relations involving mothers, with particular attention to how material or built spaces, and discursive spaces interact.

Keywords

Public Scrutiny Disciplinary Practice Material Space Public World Pantheon Book 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes

  1. 1.
    Michel Foucault, “Space, Knowledge, and Power,” in The Foucault Reader, ed. Paul Rabinow, tr. from French by Christian Hubert (New York: Pantheon Books, 1984), 252.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Gillian Rose, Feminism and Geography: The Limits of Geographical Knowledge (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1993), 124–125.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Some authors use space and place interchangeably; others distinguish between the two. For example, see Doreen Massey, Space, Place, and Gender (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1994). Edward S. Casey also analyzes the ways in which place has been subordinated to space and time in his The Fate of Place: A Philosophical History (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1997).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Alison Blunt and Gillian Rose, eds., Writing Women and Space: Colonial and Postcolonial Geographies (New York: Guilford Press, 1994), 3.Google Scholar
  5. 6.
    Dolores Hayden, in Redefining the American Dream: The Future of Housing, Work, and Family Life (New York: W. W. Norton, 1986), 29, reports that beginning in 1869, Melusina Fay Pierce and her followers, known as the material feminists, tried to engage architects and urban planners to redefine housework and housing needs to propel “domestic evolution” and the equality of women.Google Scholar
  6. 9.
    Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison, tr. from French by Alan Sheridan-Smith (New York: Random House, 1979), 205.Google Scholar
  7. 12.
    Michel Foucault, “Questions of Method,” in The Foucault Effect: Studies in Governmentality, ed. Peter Miller, Graham Burchell, and Colin Gordon (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1991), 75.Google Scholar
  8. 15.
    Michel Foucault, The History of Sexuality: An Introduction, vol. 1, tr. from French by Robert Hurley (New York: Random House, 1978).Google Scholar
  9. 19.
    Michel Foucault, “The Eye of Power” in Power/Knowledge: Selected Interviews and Other Writings, 1972–1977, ed. and tr. from French by Colin Gordon (New York: Pantheon Books 1980), 158. Although Foucault is read by some to suggest that discipline sometimes may be neutral or even positive rather than tyrannizing, I focus here on the aspects of discipline that limit and constrain mothers’ possibilities.Google Scholar
  10. 19.
    Michel Foucault, “The Eye of Power” in Power/Knowledge: Selected Interviews and Other Writings, 1972–1977, ed. and tr. from French by Colin Gordon (New York: Pantheon Books 1980), 158. Although Foucault is read by some to suggest that discipline sometimes may be neutral or even positive rather than tyrannizing, I focus here on the aspects of discipline that limit and constrain mothers’ possibilities.Google Scholar
  11. 29.
    Of course, mothers are not the only ones to cook, clean, and serve in the kitchen, and not all mothers do so. But studies continue to show that mothers in heterosexual relationships do the bulk of this work, and some hope to keep it that way. See, for example, Laura Schlessinger, The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands (New York: HarperCollins, 2004).Google Scholar
  12. 30.
    Elizabeth Grosz, Volatile Bodies: Toward a Corporeal Feminism (Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1994), 19.Google Scholar
  13. 32.
    Mona Harrington, Care and Equality: Inventing a New Family Politics (New York: Routledge, 1999), 106.Google Scholar
  14. 43.
    Melina Bau, Secrets of the Baby Whisperer (New York: Ballentine Books, 2001).Google Scholar
  15. 44.
    Pat Holt and Grace Ketterman, When You Feel Like Screaming! Help for Frustrated Mothers (Wheaton, IL: Shaw Publishers, 2000), 46–47.Google Scholar
  16. 50.
    John Leo, “A Great Story Never Told,” U.S. News and World Report 21, no. 22 (Dec. 2, 1996), 24.Google Scholar
  17. 51.
    Mary Douglas Vavrus, “From Women of the Year to ‘Soccer Moms’: The Case of the Incredible Shrinking Women,” Political Communication 17, no. 2 (Apr.–June 2000), 200. Vavrus analyzed seventy-four newspaper articles and seven television news programs during the 1996 election cycle. Though she acknowledges the term has consequences for public perceptions of women and politics, she finds the trope has greater force as a commercial than as a political metaphor (ibid., 194).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 52.
    Ann Hulbert, “Angels in the Infield,” New Republic 215, no. 21 (Nov. 18, 1996), 46.Google Scholar
  19. 53.
    Thomas L. Dumm, Michel Foucault and the Politics of Freedom (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, 1996), 15.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Sarah Hardy and Caroline Wiedmer 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marsha Marotta

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations