The Balancing

Motherhood ushers in the parenting phase of a woman's career, which will engage her for the rest of her life, particularly with those offspring which societal rules concerning postmarital residence assign to her vicinity. Furthermore, motherhood complicates the delicate balancing act that every society demands of its female members. Not only must the economic activity of women be reconciled with their domestic responsibilities (Bujra, 1979; Clark, 1999; Ember, 1983), but both must now also be reconciled with parental responsibilities (Ball & Panter-Brick, 2001; Brown, 1970, 1973, 1978). Each society has its own formula for how this mutual accommodation is achieved, an issue of continuing anxious concern for women in postindustrial societies. In many societies, the solution is to delegate the work of childcare (Minturn & Lambert, 1964) to female relatives such as grandmothers (see below), sisters and co-wives, or to the youngster's older siblings (Weisner, 1987), or to the local children's peer group (Draper & Harpending, 1987), or to delegate a mother's other activities (Bradley, 1993; Hawkes, O'Connell, & Blurton Jones, 1989, 1997). Parenting activities by fathers vary widely, from those in which fathers make a major contribution to child care (Hewlett, 1994) to the numerous societies in which fathers have virtually nothing to do with babies and children. J. W. M. Whiting and B. B. Whiting (1975) have suggested that the latter pattern is typical of those societies (societies which are "mid-level" in complexity, and have a need for warriors) in which men and women seem to live in very separate worlds, where there is "aloofness" between husbands and wives.

Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy And Childbirth

If Pregnancy Is Something That Frightens You, It's Time To Convert Your Fear Into Joy. Ready To Give Birth To A Child? Is The New Status Hitting Your State Of Mind? Are You Still Scared To Undergo All The Pain That Your Best Friend Underwent Just A Few Days Back? Not Convinced With The Answers Given By The Experts?

Get My Free Ebook


Post a comment