Poor and Working-Class Mothers

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Book Chapter

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This chapter both distinguishes between and presents commonalities among poor and working-class mothers by first noting generalizable classification systems and then by describing how class is accomplished through cultural practices and diverse identity constructions. Characteristics of, and risks associated with, poor and working-class motherhood can be combatted by support of friends, family, community, social networks, and social agencies. However, governmental agencies and intergenerational support have shifted in ways that make poor and working-class motherhood more precarious than previously documented. Moreover, the greatest impediment to assisting poor and working-class mothers is ideological, particularly imagery of deserving/undeserving poor and worker/mother ideals.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Poor and Working-Class Mothers, in L. O’Brien Hallstein, A. O’Reilly & A. Vandenbeld Giles (Eds.), The Routledge Companion to Motherhood, Routledge, p. 362-369