Gendered and classed performances of motherhood and good academic in Greece
AbstractThe enduring significance of gender and how it intersects with class in the organisation of parenting, domestic, and professional work has been obscured in contemporary neo-liberal contexts. This paper examines how Greek academic women conceptualize and enact motherhood and the classed and gendered strategies they adopt to reconcile ‘good’ motherhood with notions of the ‘good’ academic professional. It draws on semi-structured interviews about the career narratives of 15 women in Greek Medical Schools at the aftermath of the Greek recession. The analysis presented in this paper is informed by a feminist post-structuralist paradigm and an emic approach to intersectionality. Motherhood emerged in the data as a dynamic concept, and a network of practices both constrained and enabled by gendered and classed family and work cultures. Drawing on neo-liberal ‘DIY’ and ‘having it all’ discourse Greek mothers claimed that they could achieve almost anything professionally, if they organised their private lives sensibly. They drew on idealised discourses of motherhood, but they also contradicted these notions by doing non- traditional forms of motherhood, such as remote or transnational motherhood, afforded by their privileged social positioning and academic careers. Further research is required to investigate configurations of classed motherhood in less prestigious professions.
JournalEuropean Journal of Women's Studies
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