MOTHERHOOD- A SOCIAL CONSTRUCTION

Rimi Mukherjee

Abstract


Motherhood is a social construction--the phrase refers to the fact that a woman becomes mother not just by giving birth to a child but because society grants her the status of a mother. Motherhood is a status which adheres to the social norms and expectations of a society. It is a normative status that a woman achieves after childbirth. The importance of progeny and the continuation of human generations to uphold in the society are manifested in motherhood. Analyzing the status of mothers in society we realize that attainment of motherhood is not merely biological. Had it been so, the status of mothers would have faded after the functional aspect of childbearing would have been complete. In fact a woman begins the new phase of motherhood in her life as she rears the child. Any society lays down some normative expectations from its members and in an ideal society such expectations are fulfilled by its members. Motherhood is such an expectation. Societal expectations are properly channelized through socialization. It is therefore normal for a woman to seek motherhood as a normal course of life.  Any woman who is a conformist looks forward to get married and achieve the status of motherhood. She aspires for this status not only for individual gratification buy for the happiness of her husband and her family. The status of mother hood acts as a vehicle that gives the woman a special respectable position in society. Motherhood is thus a status constructed by the society.


Keywords


Motherhood, Childbearing, Progeny, Socialization, Status.

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