"Not This Big, Huge, Racial-Type Thing, But": Mothering Children of Color with Invisible Disabilities in the Age of Neuroscience
By Linda BlumThis talk is from a larger project, based on oral-history interviews and participant-observation fieldwork, studying diverse mothers raising kids with invisible, social-emotional and learning disabilities.
The larger project asks how such mothers understand the burgeoning medicalization of childhood, their children’s struggles, and widely used psychopharmaceutical treatments. A revealing case in the sociology of motherhood, such women raise burdensome, unruly children in contrast to the normative Good Mother charged with raising productive, well-adjusted citizens.
Women of color have long been similarly suspect as mothers whose children harm the nation. The Social Darwinism which legitimated such beliefs also identified disabled children with mothers inherent inferiority. Today children of color are disproportionately labeled with emotional-behavioral disabilities and assigned to special education. This paper details the complex ambivalence of 16 mothers raising children of color, most of whom suspected race influenced the categorization and recommendations that their children be medicated. The paper also discusses intersectionality in that these children are overwhelming male, so that suggestions that they should be medicated echo gendered racial ideologies of dangerous Black masculinity. In conclusion, the paper argues that such mothers distinct resistance is misunderstood or ignored by aggregate studies.
Conceptualizing Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Adolescent Dating Violence"
By Leandra Mae SmollinThis article reviews the limited body of scholarship pertaining to dating violence among lesbian, gay, and bisexual adolescents. Although recent research suggests that the rates of dating violence among these populations approximate rates for heterosexual adolescents, sociological research has only begun to explore how the experiences, dynamics, and outcomes for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) adolescents may be qualitatively different from those of their heterosexual and cisgender counterparts. Utilizing an intersectional framework, this review synthesizes literature specific to same-sex adult intimate partner violence and heterosexual adolescent dating violence in order to identify factors and dynamics that may be unique to populations that exist at the intersection of these two groups. This review concludes by sketching a provisional intersectional framework for LGBTQ adolescent dating violence research, and highlighting the need for empirical research on dating violence within this population.
Neoliberalism and the Feminization of Family Survival: The Happiness Project in Four Chinese Villages
By Lihua WangPurpose – Informed by Chinese mothers from four villages, the purpose of this chapter is to address the old issue of feminization of family survival, but situated within the landscape of neoliberalism. This study investigates the interplay between Chinese patriarchal values and neoliberal ideas that have shaped the Happiness Project – Action to Aid Impoverished Mothers – an official population control program that has been combined with poverty reduction “Action.”
Methodology – This research began in 2001 in Sichuan Province, Southwest China. Over a period of three years I interviewed 48 women who were participants in the Happiness Project.
Findings – The goal of the Happiness Project is to bring “happiness” to poor mothers through the introduction of microcredit, literacy programs, and the improvement of reproductive health. Three maternal aspects of the Happiness Project, as the study indicates, coincide with three particular patriarchal values. These include an official construction of a good mother image, targeting women's bodies as objects of the state's population control, and reinforcing gender stereotypes through market activity. The findings of this research suggest that feminization of family survival coincided with achieving the goal of the Project. Mothers thus have carried a double burden on behalf of the Chinese state and their families: the goals of declining fertility and increasing family prosperity. Social implications – Based on this outcome, the study not only calls for reevaluating this “women-only” economic development model, but also calls into question whether bringing Chinese women into public production/market activity is a path to women's emancipation under neoliberalism.
How Gender Neutral Are State Policies on Science and International Mobility of Academics
By Kathrin ZippelThere are very few studies on the international mobility of academics from an institutional gender perspective, and research on gender and welfare states has so far been primarily nationally focused. This study considers what happens when work arrangements require (temporary) international mobility and the ways state policies can be inclusive or exclusive to caregivers and dual career couples when providing support for work abroad.
Women, War, and Violence: Personal Perspectives and Global Activism
Edited by Robin M. Chandler, Lihua Wang, and Linda K. Fuller
Women, War, and Violence: Personal Perspectives and Global Activism draws upon a wide global community of activists, scholars, NGOs, and clinicians to expand the definition of how war and its violent underpinnings affects everyday women and families around the world. Benefiting from first-hand research and definitive assessments of gender-based violence interventions, it invites diverse perspectives of interdisciplinary documentation and storytelling beyond traditional academic writing. Reflecting on anti-militarist activism, structural violence, post-war atrocities, government commissions and policy solutions, WWV sheds new light on war-related gender oppression at the intersections of race, national identity, religion, and social class and the need to promote a new paradigm of the equality of men and women.
For more information please visit: http://us.macmillan.com/womenwarandviolence
Women, Civil Society and the Geopolitics of Democratization
by Denise M. Horn
Over the past decade, democratization and civil society promotion became key variables in preserving global security and the liberal economic market. This book examines the prevalence of democratization policies as a hegemonic geopolitical tool; these policies represent a concerted political effort in which civil society organizations are manipulated through funding strategies. Denise Horn offers a fresh, innovative feminist-constructivist perspective by arguing that Western gender norms i.e. those norms that determine degrees of participation within civil society inform the policies of hegemonic powers and transform the foundations of civil society in transitional states. This powerful volume will be of interest to students and scholars in Gender and Women's Studies, Political Science, and International Relations.
Heroic Wives: Rituals, Stories and the Virtues of Jain Wifehood
by Whitney Kelting
Although in Hinduism it is mainly used to refer to widow immolation, the term 'sati' means 'true woman' - a female hero. Whitney Kelting has learned that in Jainism satis appear as subjects of devotional hymns. This seems paradoxical, given that Jain spirituality is to disengage oneself from worldly existence and Jain devotionalism is usually directed toward those souls who have reached perfect detachment. In fact, however, there is a vast corpus of popular texts, many of them written by prominent scholar-monks between the 16th and 18th centuries, illustrating the distinctly worldly virtues of devoted Jain wives. In this fieldwork-based study, Kelting explores the ways in which Jain women use sati narratives and rituals to understand wifehood as a choice, which these women's ongoing ritual practices continually shape. She focuses on eight well-known Jain sati narratives, recorded in both formal ritual contexts and in informal retellings, and also as read aloud from printed versions. She finds that one of the principal functions of Jain sati narratives is to contribute to a discourse of wifehood, which addresses the concerns of Jain laywomen within the Jain value system and provides a fertile context in which Jain women can explore their questions of virtue and piety.
Globalization and its Chinese Discontents: Feminist Critiques
by Lihua Wang
Edited by Lihua Wang, and published by Peking University Press in April 2008, this book contains eight chapters, all of which were written by Chinese feminist scholars. The book attempts to capture critical debates on globalization, situated in a post September 11 discourse, that examine issues from local, Chinese, and feminist perspectives.
Points and Themes: Globalization following WWII, from macro and philosophical perspectives, can be identified with three isms: developmentalism (modernization), neo-liberalism, and consumerism. All articles in the book touch upon one of the isms. Chapter One “Development and Empire Building: Feminist Post-development Rejection of Globalization Discourse” uses empire as a concept and framework to re-examine development discourse, ideology, and the representation of modernization since the 1950s in the United States. Using arguments from feminist post-development scholars, the author examines both philosophical and practical aspects of “development” to convey the idea that American empire building was closely associated with promoting modernization projects around the world. In this regard, the lack of a feminist critique of the male model of development has caused theoretical problems in feminist and development studies.
This book raises a critical voice on the discourse of globalization from local, Chinese, post-colonial (post-developmentalist) feminist perspectives. At the same time, this book highlights problems inherited from feminist scholars who believe in neo-liberalism and that the free market will bring women more freedom and choices, and/or they will be better off. In contrast to those beliefs, this book tells us that neo-liberal policies have created many problems for women and have endangered working class women’s ability to survive. Neo-liberalist globalization, indeed, is not aimed at creating a democratic and free society, nor does it aim at creating equality for women.
The Genius of the English Nation: Travel Writing and National Identity in Early Modern England
by Anna Suranyi
Travel literature was one of the most popular literary genres of the early modern era. This book examines how emerging concepts of national identity, imperialism, colonialism, and orientalism were worked out and represented for English readers in early travel and ethnographic writings. Using insights from a variety of scholarly fields such as history, anthropology, and literary studies, Dr. Suranyi analyzes recurrent cultural stereotypes used by English travelers to describe continental Europe, Ireland, and the Ottoman Empire. For such writers, the most important criteria for evaluating countries were civility and barbarism. These were represented through depictions of cultural traits such as foodways, cleanliness, the roles of women, or even the ascription of gender to countries.