Focus on Motherhood and Mothering

Send a paper proposal for this session via the submission form


This paper session focuses on motherhood and mothering in the past, present, and future. As a topic motherhood/mothering has been somewhat controversial in feminist research. While mothering has been described as empowering, at the same time the institution of motherhood can be a way to push women home and degrading to women in general. Further, the pathways of becoming a mother and everyday realities of mothering have always been diverse, yet developments such as the worldwide pandemic, climate change, migration, technological developments, changing work life and precariousness of it, neoliberal policies and austerity as well as changing in parenting cultures bring new challenges to the ways women mother and experience it.

To this session, we invite wide range of presentations that approach mothering and motherhood from different disciplines. By inviting papers that vary in empirical, theoretical, and methodological approaches, our session aims to find out where are we at in the latest feminist research on motherhood and mothering.


Jenny Säilävaara (PhD) works as a researcher at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland. Her research interests are on mothering, norms, and embodiment. Lately, she has focused also to research on work-in-poor and precarious work markets. In her gender studies’ PhD dissertation (2021) Säilävaara’s interests were on long-term breastfeeding (past 12 months) and the norms that mothers face in their lives

Armi Mustosmäki (PhD) is a researcher and teacher at the Department of Social Sciences and Philosophy, University of Jyväskylä. Currently she works in her postdoctoral project “Complaining mothers: Affect, moral and politics of medicalisation” that focuses on negative and forbidden feelings experiences of mothers and the public responses to this “maternal complaint”. Her broad research interests include changing working life, as well as the specificities of the Nordic working life model and gender in/equality in work life. 

Published Sep. 20, 2021 12:42 PM - Last modified Sep. 21, 2021 2:56 PM