The performances are politicized: a poetic hermeneutical phenomenology examining mothering and self-care

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Meredith Gringle (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Tracy Nichols

Abstract: Due in large part to paradigms and standards established by intensive mothering ideology, maternal self-care is under-explored. Using a gender performance framework, I developed an analysis of secondary data, which included 26 total participants. I developed a poetic hermeneutical phenomenology to examine self-care via mothers' lived-experiences. I used verbatim transcripts to create analytic poems, seeking to both illuminate and trouble essential meanings around mothering performance and self-care. Mothers articulated a variety of definitions of and stances towards self-care that both converged and diverged with intensive mothering norms. Domains that affected selfcare as experienced within mothering performances for study participants included: experiences of exhaustion; work demands; self-sacrifice, sources of / experiences with support; contrasting motherhood and womanhood; need for personal time/space; articulations around personal health; and rewards of mothering. In addition I explore how my own personal and scholarly experiences and social locations informed this research. I discuss ways that researcher positionalities not only affect but also become an inextricable part of research. This project melded the practical, the personal, and the political. In it I argue not only for possible changes in how public health engages with mothers, but also for deeper examination and inclusion of maternal health within public health, and for deeper interrogation of and intentionality around how researcher positionalities inform research projects.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2016
Gender Performance, Hermeneutical phenomenology, Mothering, Public Health, Qualitative Research, Self-Care
Motherhood $x Psychological aspects
African American mothers $x Psychology

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