Standpoints of Maternity Leave: Discourses of Temporality and Ability

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class, disability, family medical leave act (FMLA), feminist standpoint theories, maternity leave, mothering rhetorics, pink-collar workers, time

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Our standpoint analysis of 21 women in pink-collar occupations displays how these workers both adhere to and challenge maternity leave discourses by rhetorically positioning their leaves as time off and (dis)ability. They both acknowledge the advantages of and resist discourses of time and (dis)ability by constructing complicated, contradictory, and ironic knowledge that such language both secures their leaves and revokes their images as competent workers. This study illustrates how standpoint analyses can inform changes in organizational policy and workplace practices for mothers employed in pink-collar occupations based on common knowledge and differences in local-specific experiences. Beyond providing such analysis, this study also contributes to greater understandings of the “rhetorical reproduction of ideological systems and logics of contemporary culture” constituting mothering rhetorics.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Women's Studies in Communication, v. 40, issue 1, p. 67-90