Mom: The Transformation of Motherhood in Modern America

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Mom: The Transformation of Motherhood in Modern America

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Mom: The Transformation of Motherhood in Modern America, Plant

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The Transformation of Motherhood in Modern America

There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later. Kindle Edition Verified Purchase. Rebecca Jo Plant's "Mom" provides an intriguing look at how the concept of motherhood was radically transformed in America by the late s. Generous use of relevant movies, books and other social media to demonstrate changing social facets relating to mothers makes Plant's book extremely engaging.

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I especially found her chapter on the pursuit of painless childbirth enlightening. I am a historian, and I am really impressed with this book. Plant gives an insightful and convincing explanation of how and why the Victorian "mother" was demoted to the mid-twentieth-century "mom," for better and worse.

She describes a transformation which I think underlies the kind of mothering anxiety described by Jennifer Senior in All Joy and No Fun: Filling a void in the scholarship, historian Plant Univ. According to Plant, however, this notion of moral motherhood would be yet another casualty of the impact of modernity on US society, the assault beginning in the interwar years and accelerating after WW II. Using a vast array of primary sources, she argues that the critics of exalted motherhood were many, from Philip Wylie, who emphasized the negative impact on men, to Betty Friedan, who focused on the stultifying effects for women.

Well written and thoroughly researched, the book provides an engaging examination of the cultural reconstruction of motherhood in the modern US. American History History of Ideas. You may purchase this title at these fine bookstores. Outside the USA, see our international sales information. University of Chicago Press: About Contact News Giving to the Press.


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Unlimited Intimacy Tim Dean. In Mom , Rebecca Jo Plant traces this important shift by exploring the evolution of maternalist politics, changing perceptions of the mother-child bond, and the rise of new approaches to childbirth pain and suffering. Plant argues that the assault on sentimental motherhood came from numerous quarters. Male critics who railed against female moral authority, psychological experts who hoped to expand their influence, and women who strove to be more than wives and mothers—all for their own distinct reasons—sought to discredit the longstanding maternal ideal.


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