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Title: Feeding pre-school children : negotiating good motherhood through food
Author: Bryce, Carol
ISNI:       0000 0004 5364 0722
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2014
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Food retains a central importance in family life, which extends beyond its nutritional necessity. Through in-depth interviews with 39 mothers of pre-school children, this study focuses on how mothers negotiate the complex and competing priorities of feeding their children. Mothers are expected to feed their children, according to expert definitions of appropriate nutrition, whilst taking account of individual food preferences and structural constraints. The ways that feeding children intersects with the construction of ‘good’ mother or how mothers negotiate external information and advice on feeding their children has not been the focus of much research. This research considers these issues at a time when government policy remains focused on health, lifestyles and obesity. This study shows that mothers feel the responsibility of motherhood strongly whilst accepting their accountability. It also shows that feeding children is one of the main concerns of mothers of young children and one that occupies a great deal of time. By talking to mothers of different ages and living in different social circumstances, this study shows that all mothers accept the links between food and health and all take account of these links as they look to their children’s future health. All mothers seek external sources of information and advice but sources differ with mothers’ age and social class. Expertise is found not to be the preserve of those with formal qualifications as mothers talked of how expertise is negotiated. Mothers therefore work hard to negotiate their own versions of good motherhood through their food decision-making. By focusing on the aspects of feeding children that are considered the most important at any given time, mothers are able to negotiate their own sense of good motherhood.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HQ The family. Marriage. Woman