‘Productive’ Reproducers: The Political Identity of Mothering in Contemporary India

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dc.contributor.author Simon-Kumar, Rachel en
dc.date.accessioned 2017-07-18T00:33:41Z en
dc.date.issued 2009 en
dc.identifier.citation Journal of the Association for Research on Mothering 11(2):143-152 2009 en
dc.identifier.issn 1488-0989 en
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2292/34266 en
dc.description.abstract The present article examines the discourses around motherhood in India, as an example of a Third World country that is both neo-liberal and anti-natalist. It unpacks the construction of motherhood within three dominant contemporary intellectual and policy paradigms: (a) gender and development theory, (b) anti-natalism/neo-Malthusianism, and (c) neo-liberalism and global capitalism. Central to the discourses contained in these traditions are the distinct ways in which motherhood and economic work are positioned against each other. This positioning, in turn, has significant implications for women’s agency and political identity as mothers or workers. Fundamental gender and development theory embraces economic activity as the route to women’s personal agency and collective political identity, as economic work connects with the public sphere; motherhood, in contrast, is private and not a primary source of agency. Within anti-natalism or population control agendas, motherhood is projected as a public and national concern, and “good mothers” or those mothers that have few children are also good citizens. Neo-liberalism based on the free-market principles of the 1980s/1990s ignores the relevance of mothering within its discourses of cost effective society. Yet, ironically, it is women’s mothering and caring roles that pick up the gaps in social services that are no longer funded by the state. Further, as part of the growing global capitalism, fertility is increasingly being converted into consumerist interests for promoting sales of contraceptives and other products. Overall, the article argues that these three discourses are in contradiction to each other and promote multiple constructions of motherhood in contemporary developing societies, all of which render women either as subjects or objects of markets and policy, and do not promote either individual or collective agency. en
dc.publisher Motherhood Initiative for Research and Community Involvement (MIRCI). en
dc.relation.ispartofseries Journal of the Association for Research on Mothering en
dc.rights Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated. Previously published items are made available in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher. en
dc.rights.uri https://researchspace.auckland.ac.nz/docs/uoa-docs/rights.htm en
dc.title ‘Productive’ Reproducers: The Political Identity of Mothering in Contemporary India en
dc.type Journal Article en
pubs.issue 2 en
pubs.begin-page 143 en
pubs.volume 11 en
dc.rights.holder Copyright: Motherhood Initiative for Research and Community Involvement (MIRCI). en
pubs.author-url https://jarm.journals.yorku.ca/index.php/jarm/article/view/23785/21985 en
pubs.end-page 152 en
dc.rights.accessrights http://purl.org/eprint/accessRights/RestrictedAccess en
pubs.subtype Article en
pubs.elements-id 514738 en
pubs.org-id Medical and Health Sciences en
pubs.org-id Population Health en
pubs.org-id Social & Community Health en
dc.identifier.eissn 1923-4139 en
pubs.record-created-at-source-date 2015-12-22 en

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