Proposal Title

Mothering Without Mom: Exploring My Narrative of Immigrant Motherhood

Affiliation

University of South Florida

Department or Program

Curriculum and Instruction; English Education

Start Date

15-4-2017 10:55 AM

End Date

15-4-2017 11:25 AM

Presentation Keywords/Areas

Emerging trends in Qualitative Research

Additional Presentation Keywords/Areas

Researcher as Writer (Auto-Ethnography, Narrative Inquiry, etc).

Additional Presentation Keywords/Areas

Identity and Self-Inquiry

Abstract

There is an interesting notion a “universal mothering ideology” (Hays, 1996) exists in the United States. However, literature suggests racial and cultural contradictions of motherhood vary among mothers (Arendell, 2000; Sutherland, 2010). Mothers as purveyors of an ethnic culture affect how they parent (e.g., Glassman & Eisikovts, 2006). Often ignored in the normative story of motherhood and the ideal of the “good” mother are narratives of immigrant mothers. This is due in part to current anti-immigration sentiment, which prevents immigrant mothers from sharing their stories (Chavez, 2007; Irving, 2000).

In this autoethnography, I draw from Rothman’s (2000) theoretical framework about ideologies affecting mothers to explore my narrative of motherhood and the challenges of passing down to my children the values prevalent in another country while remaining loyal to my mother’s lessons now that she is gone. To illustrate the cultural negotiation of my immigrant mother identity bearing a biracial child, I provide a mixed media arts-based representation of my analysis and discussion of immigrant mothers’ concerns regarding our bodies and parenting. By sharing my anxieties as a Filipino mother and connecting my story with the memory of my own immigrant mother, I address cultural issues about motherhood that vary across contexts. I hope that by giving voice to the cultural narratives of motherhood that challenge the universal mothering ideology, other mothers (especially those of color) are encouraged to reflect on and share their mothering narratives.

Presentation Type and Comments

20-minute paper presentation

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Apr 15th, 10:55 AM Apr 15th, 11:25 AM

Mothering Without Mom: Exploring My Narrative of Immigrant Motherhood

There is an interesting notion a “universal mothering ideology” (Hays, 1996) exists in the United States. However, literature suggests racial and cultural contradictions of motherhood vary among mothers (Arendell, 2000; Sutherland, 2010). Mothers as purveyors of an ethnic culture affect how they parent (e.g., Glassman & Eisikovts, 2006). Often ignored in the normative story of motherhood and the ideal of the “good” mother are narratives of immigrant mothers. This is due in part to current anti-immigration sentiment, which prevents immigrant mothers from sharing their stories (Chavez, 2007; Irving, 2000).

In this autoethnography, I draw from Rothman’s (2000) theoretical framework about ideologies affecting mothers to explore my narrative of motherhood and the challenges of passing down to my children the values prevalent in another country while remaining loyal to my mother’s lessons now that she is gone. To illustrate the cultural negotiation of my immigrant mother identity bearing a biracial child, I provide a mixed media arts-based representation of my analysis and discussion of immigrant mothers’ concerns regarding our bodies and parenting. By sharing my anxieties as a Filipino mother and connecting my story with the memory of my own immigrant mother, I address cultural issues about motherhood that vary across contexts. I hope that by giving voice to the cultural narratives of motherhood that challenge the universal mothering ideology, other mothers (especially those of color) are encouraged to reflect on and share their mothering narratives.