Working-Class Mothers' School Involvement: A Class-Specific Maternal Ideal?

Einat Lavee, Orly Benjamin
  • The Sociological Review, August 2015, SAGE Publications
  • DOI: 10.1111/1467-954x.12253

What is it about?

The Increased the toll on working-class mothers, who now have to assume responsibility in three time-consuming areas: child care at home, school involvement and labor market participation. The paper considers how working-class mothers rationalize the maternal ideals they embrace with regard to school involvement and examines how they negotiate them vis-à-vis other possible maternal ideals. We found that personal presence-based nurturing disrupt low income mothers' ability to maintain their labor market participation.

Why is it important?

In analyzing how mothers deal with this threefold expectation, past research has focused on class-specific maternal ideals and practices, but rarely directed systematic attention to how these concurrent expectations shape the maternal ideals they embrace. We fill in the gap by connecting maternal ideals to the three fold expectation as well as to mothers' ability to hold on to their jobs over caring emergencies.

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