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Review: Motherhood as Experience and Institution Reconsidered: A Review of Birns and Hay's "The Different Faces of Motherhood"

Reviewed Work: The Different Faces of Motherhood by Beverly Birns, Dale F. Hay
Review by: Jane Attanucci
Merrill-Palmer Quarterly
Vol. 36, No. 3 (July 1990), pp. 425-429
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23087289
Page Count: 5
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Motherhood as Experience and Institution Reconsidered: A Review of Birns and Hay's "The Different Faces of Motherhood"
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Abstract

A systematic lack of attention to the lives of mothers has been prevalent in the field of child development. The Different Faces of Motherhood, edited by Birns and Hay, makes a cogent statement about how the blindness of theories and empirical research to the diversity among mothers has limited and distorted the understanding of children by researchers and thus professionals' capacity to improve children's lives. Most of the researchers included in this book fail to include interview data in their studies, one of their shared goals. The contradiction between a personal and political concern for mothers and children and an objective view of science constrains the efforts of researchers to attend to the subjective experience of motherhood through interviews.

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