Browsing Faculty of Education, Health and Wellbeing by Publisher "Wiley InterScience."
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Mums, Dummies and Dirty ‘Dids’: the dummy as a symbolic representation of mothering?The bio medical expert literature, although contested, associates the use of dummies, soothers or pacifiers, with illness, dental malformation, impaired speech and language, and working-class mothering. This article suggests this negative perspective has filtered, via experts and the media, into public narratives of ‘good’ mothering. Interviews with 20 disadvantaged mothers demonstrate the complex negotiations undertaken to integrate dummy use into their personal ‘good-mothering’ narratives. Representing their hitherto ignored voices in the dummy debate allows a consideration of the context of, and influences on, dummy use. The article argues that rather than a symbol of inadequate working-class mothering, dummy use is a complex, highly negotiated, situated mothering practice.