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Encyclopedia of Motherhood

Encyclopedia of Motherhood

Three Volume Set
Edited by:

April 2010 | 1 520 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

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In the last decade the topic of motherhood has emerged as a distinct and established field of scholarly inquiry. A cursory review of motherhood research reveals that hundreds of scholarly articles have been published on almost every motherhood theme imaginable.

The first ever on the topic, this Encyclopedia of Motherhood helps to both demarcate motherhood as a scholarly field and an academic discipline and to direct its future development. With more than 700 entries, these three volumes provide information on the central terms, concepts, topics, issues, themes, debates, theories, and texts of this new discipline. Further, the encyclopedia examines the topic of motherhood in various contexts such as history and geography and by academic discipline.

Key Features

  • Provides an overview of the topic of motherhood in many and diverse disciplines, such as anthropology, sociology, psychology and philosophy
  • Examines the meaning and experience of motherhood in many time periods from classic civilizations to present day
  • Includes an entry for all the influential theorists of maternal scholarship from the pioneering theories to the more recent writings
  • Covers issues and events of our current times including entries on the mommy blog, the motherhood memoir, terrorism, reproductive technologies, HIV/AIDS, and LGBT families
  • Explores geographical, cultural, and ethnic diversity with an entry for almost every country in the world as well as entries on lesbian, immigrant, adoptive, single, nonresidential, young, poor mothers and mothers with disabilities

Key Themes

  • History of Motherhood
  • Issues in Motherhood
  • Motherhood and Family
  • Motherhood and Health
  • Motherhood and Society
  • Motherhood Around the World
  • Motherhood in the United States
  • Motherhood Studies
  • Prominent Mothers

In human society, few institutions are as important as motherhood, and this unique encyclopedia captures the interdisciplinary foundation of the subject in one convenient reference. The scope of the Encyclopedia of Motherhood is focused on providing a comprehensive resource to understanding the complexities of motherhood for academic and public libraries, written by scholars and institutional experts in the social and behavioral sciences.

"At the inexpensive price, this is … a good buy for most reference collections."-

J. Dunham
John Jay Coll. Lib. CUNY
Library Journal

".... This three-volume encyclopedia with 700 signed articles, contributed by an impressive collection of scholars from diverse disciplines, is intended to provide an introduction to this growing field and information on its 'central terms, concepts, topics, issues, themes, debates, theories, and texts.' It includes a chronology of motherhood, and comprehensive thematic, geographic, historic, literary, and biographical coverage of the people, works, and topics within this growing scholarly area.... Summing Up: Highly recommended. Lower-division undergraduates through graduate students; general readers."-CHOICE

T. McDevitt
Indiana University of Pennsylvania

“This work seeks to present the ‘central terms, concepts, topics, issues, debates, theories, and texts of this new discipline of motherhood studies.’ Editor O’Reilly is a well-respected and prolific scholar in the field, and she has created an accessible and interesting resource. Arranged in A-Z format, the more than 700 entries cover historical and modern theories and concepts as well as prominent mothers (Adams, Abigail; Jefferson, Thomas, mother of; Obama, Michelle)…. Entries are written in language easy for the lay reader to understand but with enough details for scholars to be satisfied…. Also available as an e-book.”

Asia Gross
Key features
  • General Editor Andrea O'Rielly of York University is the leading scholar on motherhood, author or editor of over a dozen books on the topic, founder of the leading academic society and journal on mothering-motherhood, and founder of a press devoted to feminist perspectives on motherhood.
  • Spanning three volumes (available in both print and electronic formats), approximately 700 signed entries are organized in A-to-Z fashion to present ready-to-use facts and references for further in-depth reading and research covering issues in both scientific and cultural contexts.
  • Information on motherhood comes from a range of curricular disciplines, including sociology and anthropology, history, psychology, biology, health, family studies, women and gender studies, and cultural studies.
  • Entries are supported by illustrations (including approximately 180 photos) and conclude with both References/Further Readings and cross-references to related entries.
  • Front matter includes a general Introduction, a Reader's Guide grouping related entries thematically, and a Chronology.
  • Back matter includes a Resource Guide (key books, journal articles, and internet resources), a Glossary, an Appendix of statistics on motherhood around the world, and a thorough Index.

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ISBN: 9781452266299

ISBN: 9781412968461

This title is also available on SAGE Knowledge, the ultimate social sciences online library. If your library doesn’t have access, ask your librarian to start a trial.