International Journal of Social Science & Economic Research
Submit Paper


Sanjukta Bhaumik

|| ||

Sanjukta Bhaumik
Jadavpur University, West Bengal, India

Bhaumik, Sanjukta. "UNDERSTANDING CONTEMPORARY MOTHERHOOD: A SOCIOLOGICAL STUDY OF EMPLOYED WOMEN IN KOLKATA." Int. j. of Social Science and Economic Research, vol. 3, no. 12, Dec. 2018, pp. 6551-6561, Accessed Dec. 2018.
Bhaumik, S. (2018, December). UNDERSTANDING CONTEMPORARY MOTHERHOOD: A SOCIOLOGICAL STUDY OF EMPLOYED WOMEN IN KOLKATA. Int. j. of Social Science and Economic Research, 3(12), 6551-6561. Retrieved from
Bhaumik, Sanjukta. "UNDERSTANDING CONTEMPORARY MOTHERHOOD: A SOCIOLOGICAL STUDY OF EMPLOYED WOMEN IN KOLKATA." Int. j. of Social Science and Economic Research 3, no. 12 (December 2018), 6551-6561. Accessed December, 2018.

[1]. Apple, Rima D. (2006). Perfect Motherhood: Science and Childrearing In America. London: Rutgers University Press.
[2]. Beets, Gijs, et al. (2011). The Future of Motherhood in Western Societies: Late Fertility and its Consequences. Dordrecht: Springer.
[3]. Christopher, K. (2012). Extensive Mothering: Employed mothers' constructions of the good mothers. Retrieved from
[4]. Douglas, Susan and Meredith Michaels. (2004). The Mommy Myth: The idealization of Motherhood and how it has undermined All Women". New York: Free Press.
[5]. Gilman, Cherlotte Parkins. (1970). Women and Economics. New York. Source Book Press.
[6]. Harper, Douglas and Helene E. Lawson.(2003) "The Cultural Study of Work". USA: Rowman and Littlefield publishers.
[7]. Mayer, Katherine. (2009). Mother: A textual analysis of Contemporary Mother Identities in Popular Discourse, Master Thesis, Marquetter University.
[8]. O'Reilley, Andrea (Eds). (2004). "From Motherhood to Mothering: The Legacy of Adrienne Rich's of Woman Born". USA: State University of New York press.
[9]. O'Reilley, Andrea (Eds). (2010). 21st Century Motherhood: Experience, Identity, Policy, Agency. Columbia University Press.
[10]. Stanley, Liz and Wise, Sue. (2002). Breaking Out Again: Feminist ontology and epistemology. London and New York. Taylor and Francis e-Library.
[11]. Ramos, Isabel. (Eds).(2013). Research Methodology for Business and Management Studies. UK. Academic Conferences and Publishing International Limited. Retrieved from +2013&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjUm8C09t3RAhXGJMAKHRBLCksQ6AEIGzA A#v=onepage&q=ramos%20masquita%202013&f=false

India recognizes the ideal of motherhood as the highest for a woman. In our society, the role of a mother has always been portrayed either as a protector of her children or a complete caregiver. The Bhagavad Gita says that " Motherhood is another name of dedication, the selfless love and devotion towards the infant or children are grown from the seeds of innocence, no cunning, scheming, selfish motives here". It was believed that there is no mode of life that is superior to serving one's mother. This is the way motherhood had always been identified and glorified in our society. In India, motherhood is central to the social and cultural system. Motherhood and childrearing are regarded as normal duties within women's lives. Since India began economic reforms in the early 1990s, women have been streaming into the urban workforce, initially as government office workers but now increasingly as employees in the flourishing service sectors and in professional jobs. Overall the number of employed women has roughly doubled in 15 years. From the early 1950's many employed mothers began to challenge the prevailing discourse of the ideal mother. Many women are drawn to work outside the home despite criticism demonstrates the economic and psychological importance of employment for women. This change has resulted in an increase in the number of mothers who no longer fit into that traditional image of motherhood. In today's society the meaning of the 'motherhood' is quite complex, describing a broad range of women whose responsibilities vary significantly. Understanding what motherhood means is challenging because the responsibilities of mothers are constantly changing. "Women can find themselves in flux, constantly needing to manage and negotiate their own identities by continuously reflecting on the conflicting expectations of what it means to be a mother". Participation of women into labor force contributed to shaping mothers' personal understanding of their identities, as well as society's understanding of the identities of mothers. This, in turn, plays a part in defining what it means to be a mother in contemporary society."Mothers from different social backgrounds may experience motherhood differently and have different understandings of what motherhood means. At the same time there are commonalities in the experiences of mothering since they live in the same society and motherhood is socially constructed through common discourses" (Nowak, Thompson 2001: 407). There are many variables of the issues such as economic, social and emotional issues influence a mother's choice whether to stay at home with her children or work outside the home. Therefore, to contemporary employed women, motherhood is a day-to-day experience of managing jobs and childrearing. In today's society, women are defining motherhood as a "choice" that brings them a lot of joy. However, childrearing has posed the biggest challenge to the employed mothers. Most of employed mothers encountered a number of difficulties in balancing between child-care activities and job. Thus, female labor force participation, has given rise to a new plethora of controversy o v e r whether motherhood is a "golden goal of feminine" (Leighton, 1975, p.g-189) or it is a hindrance to career development for employed women in modern society.