Gendered narrations of national belonging and motherhood in Sudan and Mexico
[S.l.] : Emerald
InDavis, K.; Ghorashi, H.; Smets, P. (ed.), Contested belonging: Spaces, practices, biographies, pp. 357-378
Part of book or chapter of book
Display more detailsDisplay less details
SW OW MAW [owi]
Davis, K.; Ghorashi, H.; Smets, P. (ed.), Contested belonging: Spaces, practices, biographies
SubjectAnthropology and Development Studies
Purpose:This chapter shows how professional women from diverse geographic locations claim belonging in the public sphere by using motherhood as an important strategy for negotiating gendered and classed spaces of belonging while constructing moral agency and proper citizenship as women. Methodology/Approach: During anthropological research in Sudan and Mexico, the biographic narratives of two women, both key informants in larger, long-term ethnographic projects, were obtained by each researcher by engaging in a process of intersubjective knowledge production. These were analysed using the method of context analysis for dialogically constructed 'narrations of the nation'. Findings: The trope of moral motherhood works in widely differing national contexts as a means for women to claim a position in a public space and at the same time to negotiate the boundaries between private and public domains. Invoking this trope enables professional women to forge public belonging and to participate in politics, while still safeguarding their femininity and their decency. Originality: This chapter demonstrates that national discourses about motherhood can be instrumental in creating a sense of civic belonging for professional women in two nation-states with widely diverse (post)colonial histories. Comparing narratives of belonging from such different national contexts can provide insight into belonging as an intrinsic part of identity constructions in paternalistic states. Both narratives show similarities in the way that motherhood constitutes a trope for active female citizenship whereby women actively claim public spaces and contest dominant discourses, which in the process de-essentializes motherhood.
Upload full text
Use your RU credentials (u/z-number and password) to log in with SURFconext to upload a file for processing by the repository team.