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Browsing by Author "Veijalainen, Sari"

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  • Veijalainen, Sari (2010)
    The focus of this study is to analyse the power relations on how our society normalizes motherhood and what kind techniques of power can be found in the motherhood culture. This study is an educational family research, and the aim of this study was to analyse those power frames that try to limit mothers in their motherhoods. There were seven mother participants in this study. They wrote essays about their experiences of motherhood in the Finnish society. The method of the research was qualitative, and the data was analysed by discourse analysis. The theoretical part of the research consists of distinguish in parenthood, family policy in families with children and motherhood in the Finnish society. The methodological approach is Michel Foucault's analytic of power relations, and in this viewpoint I try to find out the different discourses of motherhood. In this study, mothers process against those assumptions of motherhood, which limit their freedom as acting in their role as mothers. Mothers locate themselves in the position of the "Other" that differs from those motherhood discourses which mothers were talking about. From the point of the "Others", mothers processed their own motherhood, and they feel that they were always distinguished from the motherhood which they were expected to belong. Six categories were found in the motherhood assumptions: the norm of education, the myths of motherhood, the role assumptions in the motherhood, the norm of motherhood and discourse of good parenting, and discourse of project parenting. These discourses of motherhood assumptions make limitations, classifications and difference among motherhood. These assumptions were told by people for example in maternity clinics, first and security houses, judiciary systems, nursery, or by some other people. Mothers in this study made a comparison between the motherhood assumptions and themselves. In this study, mothers also criticize the culture of motherhood in the society and feel incompatible with the norms of motherhood around them. This may also increase mothers' exhaustion.