Document Type : Research Paper


1 Associate Professor of Social Anthropology, Social Science, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran

2 PhD Candidate in Social Anthropology, Univerisity of Tehran, Iran


The experiences of women from mothering are influenced by various living conditions and identities which are socially, economically and politically constructed. This paper reviews the viewpoints of different feminist epistemologies about the issue of “mothering” in terms of theory and practice in order to understand the meanings, assumptions, and implications associated with it, and to find out the historical and theoretical changes of this issue and its impact on political trends and historical transformations. This study based on a historical review of mothering in feminist theory, indicates three paradigms: 1) paradigm of rejection and essentialism including radical and liberal feminism linked to some concepts such patriarchy, oppression and dependence; 2) paradigm of phenomenology including third wave feminism, black feminism, and post-colonial feminism focusing on life experiences and differences; and 3) paradigm of activism, pressure and social change resulted from the theory of maternal thinking and empowered mothering by protesting the discursive patterns of mothering. This introduces restoring authority and legitimacy in mothers and considers the creative and subversive ways of cognition and knowledge in mothering, which can lead to social changes, a widespread development of peace and a more humane world.


Main Subjects

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