Navigating Mothering Through The System : Attending To Mother-Frontline Worker Interactions

Barrett, Irene A. (2007) Navigating Mothering Through The System : Attending To Mother-Frontline Worker Interactions. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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    Available under License - The author retains copyright ownership and moral rights in this thesis. Neither the thesis nor substantial extracts from it may be printed or otherwise reproduced without the author's permission.
    (Original Version)

Abstract

This research explored how mothers, who are recipients of the institutionalized social support system, felt their understandings and experiences of mothering were shaped by their interactions with system frontline workers. Using hermeneutical and critical interpretive epistemologies grounded in Feminist methodology, this research explored the negative influence mother-blaming beliefs had on mother/worker interactions. Specifically, this research found that mothers' experiences of their interactions with frontline workers were fraught with experiences of oppression and disrespect. Examples shared by the mothers, such as surveillance and living in a fish bowl; unsolicited support; trust and obey; and using personal and institutional power to disempower were all themes giving voice to mothers' experiences of mother-blame. The power differentials in worker/mother interactions were explored in this research as were the mothers' struggles between compliance and resistance to these complex dynamics. The role of frontline workers' personal values, their position as workers of the system, and the larger societal contexts within which mother/workers interactions reside were each examined. Recommendations for personal, institutional, and societal change based on the mothers' critiques of their interactions with frontline workers conclude this work.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/1548
Item ID: 1548
Additional Information: Includes bibliographical references: leaves 175-182
Department(s): Education, Faculty of
Date: 2007
Date Type: Submission
Geographic Location: Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Mothers--Newfoundland and Labrador; Self-acceptance in women--Newfoundland and Labrador; Social workers--Newfoundland and Labrador; Welfare recipients--Newfoundland and Labrador

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