Theorising Maternal Becoming Psycho-Socially

  • Wendy Hollway
Part of the Studies in the Psychosocial Series book series (STIP)


In Chapter 7, Arianna’s relation to the discourse of gender equality was explored in terms of how, at a profound level of identity investment, she experienced being an autonomous career woman as mutually exclusive with being a ‘mother type’. As her daughter grew up a little, she found she could remain career focused and this was helped by her husband, whose career was no more important than Arianna’s, who loved being a hands-on father and who did a fair share of domestic work. Arianna did not, in any decisive either/or fashion, have to put motherhood before career, or sacrifice one for the other. Discourses and policies of gender equality did not fail her in this respect, but rather in being based on a male model, where being a woman-and-mother is in binary relation to autonomous self-reliance. Justine, the example in this chapter, was differently positioned.


Gender Equality Maternity Leave Career Success Lone Mother Maternal Position 
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Copyright information

© Wendy Hollway 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wendy Hollway
    • 1
  1. 1.The Open UniversityUK

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