„If you have children, they come first. Otherwise you do not have to have a family.” Professional identity and (anticipated) motherhood: Women being under the pressure to decide between

Baumgarten, Diana; Luterbach, Matthias; Maihofer, Andrea (2017). „If you have children, they come first. Otherwise you do not have to have a family.” Professional identity and (anticipated) motherhood: Women being under the pressure to decide between. Freiburger Zeitschrift für GeschlechterStudien, 23(1), pp. 53-59. Budrich Unipress 10.3224/fzg.v23i1.04

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The ideal of ‘the loving mother’ developed with the emergence of the bourgeois family. It expects women to be fully devoted to their families. In this script of life, paid employment traditionally played only a subordinate role. In recent decades, gendered entry barriers to the professional world have softened. Based on qualitative interviews with women in their early thirties from German speaking Switzerland, this paper shows that women develop a strong professional identity in the period preceding maternity. Even if they do not voice explicit career ambitions, their professional careers gain momentum and the women are geared to a professional logic. However, the ideal of motherhood has remained largely unchanged. As a result, women feel pressured to choose between family and career. The required prioritization produces various, also emotional conflicts. In our discussion, we foreground the connection between the persistent ideal of ‘the loving mother’ and a lean welfare state with a neo-liberal political culture that deems work-family balance an individual problem.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)

Division/Institute:

03 Faculty of Business, Economics and Social Sciences > Social Sciences > Institute of Sociology

ISSN:

2196-4459

Publisher:

Budrich Unipress

Projects:

[1036] Transitions from Education to Employment (TREE) Official URL

Language:

German

Submitter:

David Leander Baumann

Date Deposited:

16 Oct 2019 14:09

Last Modified:

04 Nov 2019 13:39

Publisher DOI:

10.3224/fzg.v23i1.04

Additional Information:

Notes: treeanalysis analysis_thirdparty; Date: 2017

Uncontrolled Keywords:

Frauen; Mutterschaft; Erwerbsarbeit; Identitätskonstruktion; Vereinbarkeit: women; motherhood; occupation; identity formation; family-work-balance

BORIS DOI:

10.7892/boris.130829

URI:

https://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/130829

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