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Title: Gendered moral rationalities in combining motherhood and employment : a case study of Sri Lanka
Author: Kodagoda, Delapolage Thilakshi Deepika
ISNI:       0000 0004 2711 5860
Awarding Body: University of Bradford
Current Institution: University of Bradford
Date of Award: 2011
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Over the last three decades, the impact of dramatic change in the social, religious, political and economic environment has led to a rapid expansion in the number of women entering the paid labour force in Sri Lanka as elsewhere. However, their identities and workload continue to be defined around caring work, especially for children. Not surprisingly, employed mothers endeavour to balance these two central spheres of their life, family and work. This research focuses on the contradictions of mothers' work-life balance. It does so through an analysis of how successfully (or unsuccessfully) professional and managerial mothers in Sri Lanka combine motherhood with paid work, and how they understand this in terms of gendered identities and social norms. This example also allows an evaluation of western derived theories about mothers' decision making in the context of a developing, Asian country. Grounded theory was used to examine mothers' narratives about life in the family and at work, drawn from in-depth qualitative interviews, along with data from some representative secondary sources, in order to explore these questions. This thesis demonstrates that working women's mothering leads to the formation of a gendered identity which varies according to different socio-cultural and religious opportunities and constraints. Using the Bourdieu approach the research suggests how everyday life operates in terms of habitus, field and capital. However, these working mothers have low capacity to achieve a work-life balance and this may lead to complex social problems.
Supervisor: Duncan, Simon ; Beckett, A. M. Clare Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Motherhood ; Employment ; Professional ; Managerial mothers ; Sri Lanka ; Work-life balance ; Gendered identities ; Socio-cultural environment ; Opportunities and constraints ; Religious constraints ; Social problems ; Working mothers