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Troubling MotherhoodMaternality in Global Politics$
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Lucy B. Hall, Anna L. Weissman, and Laura J. Shepherd

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780190939182

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190939182.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 15 May 2021

Raising Children in Strangeness

Raising Children in Strangeness

Cosmopolitan Mothering and Domestic Helpers in Expatriate Families

(p.214) Chapter 13 Raising Children in Strangeness
Troubling Motherhood

Catherine Goetze

Oxford University Press

Raising children in strangeness throws up multiple dilemmas for mothers, especially if they are working. Living abroad, raising children in multinational and multilingual families, and at the same time jockeying work–life balances within families require constant negotiation of claims for equality and demands for difference. Such dilemmas are reinforced if mothering is dependent on the care of another woman, the nanny. Drawing on auto-ethnographic observations, this chapter discusses how cosmopolitan competence allows living (yet not solving) such dilemmas. Cosmopolitan attitudes in mothering allow the mother’s position to be accepted as strange in her own family and social environment; they minoritize the mother’s position toward the nanny and, hence, constitute bridges rather than obstacles to overcome the multiple dilemmas of mothering in strangeness.

Keywords:   mothering, cosmopolitanism, expatriation, China, nannies, working mothers

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