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Dimensions of Motherhood

This course will focus on motherhood as experience, as a socially constructed institution, and as a defining concept in women’s lives whether or not she is a mother. There will be three key questions explored throughout the course: 1) how motherhood may be shaped by social, cultural and legal context, 2) how women experience the particularities of motherhood and mothering, 3) how different women experience very differing versions of motherhood and mothering practice, and 4) how all these might inform our own theoretical perspectives About motherhood and mothering. We will explore the ways in which mothering is influenced by class, culture, race, sexuality, ability and nationhood. The class will not arrive at definitive answers or a universal view of motherhood and mothering, rather it will explore the ways in which sociological inquiry might lead to a richer and fuller consideration of women’s lives as mothers.

SOCIOL 4U03

Dimensions of Motherhood

Unit(s): 3.0 Level(s): IV Term(s): Fall Offered?: Yes

This course will focus on motherhood as experience, as a socially constructed institution, and as a defining concept in women’s lives whether or not she is a mother. There will be three key questions explored throughout the course: 1) how motherhood may be shaped by social, cultural and legal context, 2) how women experience the particularities of motherhood and mothering, 3) how different women experience very differing versions of motherhood and mothering practice, and 4) how all these might inform our own theoretical perspectives About motherhood and mothering. We will explore the ways in which mothering is influenced by class, culture, race, sexuality, ability and nationhood. The class will not arrive at definitive answers or a universal view of motherhood and mothering, rather it will explore the ways in which sociological inquiry might lead to a richer and fuller consideration of women’s lives as mothers.


Julie Gouweloos

PhD Student

Prerequisite(s): Registration in Level IV of any Honours Sociology or Honours Social Psychology program SOCIOL 4U03 may be repeated, if on a different topic, to a total of six units.