Budds, KM, Hogg, M, Banister, E and Dixon, M (2017) Parenting agendas: an empirical study of intensive mothering and infant cognitive development. The Sociological Review, 65 (2). pp. 336-352. ISSN 1467-954X

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Intensive parenting debates reflect the critical importance of a child’s early years, and parents’ roles in determining later developmental outcomes. Mothers are usually assigned primary responsibility for facilitating their infants’ cognitive development through adequate and appropriate sensory stimulation. Drawing on Foucault’s technologies of the self, this article explores how new mothers shape their mothering practices in order to provide appropriately stimulating interactions. Using findings from 64 interviews (31 women were interviewed twice, 2 women were interviewed only once) three main positions are identified of how mothers function in relation to their infants’ development: mother as committed facilitator, creative provider and careful/caring monitor. The study considers the perceived normative nature of these positions and the impact they can have on middle-class women’s subjectivities as new mothers. This analysis of parental agendas and infant cognitive development suggests that a continued focus on the mother’s role within early infant development reflects and upholds ideologies of child-centred, intensive mothering, which risks precluding ‘alternative’ maternal subjectivities and promotes conservative feminine identities.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Budds, K.M., Hogg, M., Banister, E. and Dixon, M. (2016) 'Parenting agendas: an empirical study of intensive mothering and infant cognitive development', The Sociological Review, which will be published in final form at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1111/(ISSN)1467-954X This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.
Uncontrolled Keywords: transition to motherhood, intensive mothering, child development, technologies of the self
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Natural Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 02 Sep 2016 08:08
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2019 16:37
URI: https://eprints.keele.ac.uk/id/eprint/2150

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