Motherland
The Lived Experiences of New Mothers Attending Community Groups in Developing a Sense of Self and Belonging
Author(s): Amanda Norman

Develop understanding of how community groups can help shape the identity of new mothers

Collection: Gender Studies
 Publication Date  Available in all formats
ISBN: 9781915734891

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In what ways can attending community groups help to develop a sense of self and belonging for new mothers as they navigate parenthood?

Using examples of lived experiences from mothers past and present, Motherland invites readers to explore how community groups have shaped and supported the social identity of their members.

Author Amanda Norman considers maternal care beyond the home and the importance of listening to new mothers as they share their lived experiences. Motherland explores women’s community groups from historical and contemporary perspectives, and illustrates the power of a collective group and social identity in shaping mothers’ relationships with their infants and each other.

Reflecting on the power of social identity and the importance of community work in supporting parents and families, this book is ideal reading for students of Gender Studies and related courses, Healthcare, Psychology, Sociology, Social Work, Early Childhood Studies, and new parents.

  • Cover
  • Half Title
  • Title Page
  • Dedication
  • Copyright Page
  • Contents
  • Introduction
  • 1 A historical lens to explore the value of mothers’ groups
    • Value of community of groups for new mothers
    • Social identity theory
    • Being part of an outgroup in society: The lasting impact on women as new mothers
    • Mother and baby homes as a hidden and silenced micro community
      • Categorisation
      • Social identification
      • Social comparison
    • Moving towards the power of groups: A herstory and the impact of belonging
      • Husbands’ role in conceiving
      • Personal health
      • Length of time during pregnancy
    • Learning objective
      • Historical lens on community groups
  • 2 Creating communities that care
    • What is so special about early infancy and motherhood?
    • Personal construct theory and groups
    • Communities of new mothers’ groups within the infant-​parent dyad
    • The tensions of community groups and the re-​creation of groups
    • The forming of groups for new mothers and their purpose for social support
    • Learning objective
      • Listening to new mothers
  • 3 Mothers’ virtual connections and in-​person connections
    • The beginning
    • During the pandemic and beyond: Experiences of connecting new mother during pregnancy
    • After birth
    • The influence of the pandemic on these families
    • Mothership Writers group
    • Their voices in sharing the experience as a collective
      • Food and drink
      • Pre-​birth lifestyle
      • Community: A village
    • Learning objective
      • The value of connections and belonging
  • 4 Contemporary community care
    • The value of touch
    • A personal experience of infant massage
    • My experience as an instructor facilitating an infant massage group
    • Supporting recommended groups
    • A community of practice with referred parents
    • Learning objective
      • Models of connected community groups
  • 5 New mothers and circles and spiritual groups
    • Rituals and belonging
      • Mother’s blessing
      • Naming ceremonies
    • A history of women’s circles
    • My experience of a mother circle
    • Organising a circle
    • Learning objective
      • Alternative groups as spiritual and social community groups
  • End note
    • What is my position as author and researcher in this book?
  • Recommended discussion topics
  • Case study
  • References
  • Recommended further reading
  • Index

Amanda Norman EdD is a Senior Lecturer in Childhood Studies (Early Years) at the University of Winchester

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About The Book

In what ways can attending community groups help to develop a sense of self and belonging for new mothers as they navigate parenthood?

Using examples of lived experiences from mothers past and present, Motherland invites readers to explore how community groups have shaped and supported the social identity of their members.

Author Amanda Norman considers maternal care beyond the home and the importance of listening to new mothers as they share their lived experiences. Motherland explores women’s community groups from historical and contemporary perspectives, and illustrates the power of a collective group and social identity in shaping mothers’ relationships with their infants and each other.

Reflecting on the power of social identity and the importance of community work in supporting parents and families, this book is ideal reading for students of Gender Studies and related courses, Healthcare, Psychology, Sociology, Social Work, Early Childhood Studies, and new parents.

Table of Contents
  • Cover
  • Half Title
  • Title Page
  • Dedication
  • Copyright Page
  • Contents
  • Introduction
  • 1 A historical lens to explore the value of mothers’ groups
    • Value of community of groups for new mothers
    • Social identity theory
    • Being part of an outgroup in society: The lasting impact on women as new mothers
    • Mother and baby homes as a hidden and silenced micro community
      • Categorisation
      • Social identification
      • Social comparison
    • Moving towards the power of groups: A herstory and the impact of belonging
      • Husbands’ role in conceiving
      • Personal health
      • Length of time during pregnancy
    • Learning objective
      • Historical lens on community groups
  • 2 Creating communities that care
    • What is so special about early infancy and motherhood?
    • Personal construct theory and groups
    • Communities of new mothers’ groups within the infant-​parent dyad
    • The tensions of community groups and the re-​creation of groups
    • The forming of groups for new mothers and their purpose for social support
    • Learning objective
      • Listening to new mothers
  • 3 Mothers’ virtual connections and in-​person connections
    • The beginning
    • During the pandemic and beyond: Experiences of connecting new mother during pregnancy
    • After birth
    • The influence of the pandemic on these families
    • Mothership Writers group
    • Their voices in sharing the experience as a collective
      • Food and drink
      • Pre-​birth lifestyle
      • Community: A village
    • Learning objective
      • The value of connections and belonging
  • 4 Contemporary community care
    • The value of touch
    • A personal experience of infant massage
    • My experience as an instructor facilitating an infant massage group
    • Supporting recommended groups
    • A community of practice with referred parents
    • Learning objective
      • Models of connected community groups
  • 5 New mothers and circles and spiritual groups
    • Rituals and belonging
      • Mother’s blessing
      • Naming ceremonies
    • A history of women’s circles
    • My experience of a mother circle
    • Organising a circle
    • Learning objective
      • Alternative groups as spiritual and social community groups
  • End note
    • What is my position as author and researcher in this book?
  • Recommended discussion topics
  • Case study
  • References
  • Recommended further reading
  • Index
About The Author

Amanda Norman EdD is a Senior Lecturer in Childhood Studies (Early Years) at the University of Winchester

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