Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Making a difference, promoting gender equality? : transforming childcare policies for mothers, fathers and children in Wales
Author: Ball, Wendy Susan
Awarding Body: University of Wales, Swansea
Current Institution: Swansea University
Date of Award: 2006
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Full text unavailable from EThOS. Please try the link below.
Access from Institution:
This thesis explores the connections between childcare, gender relations and social policy in post-devolution Wales. The changing childcare policy landscape in the United Kingdom is discussed and the making of childcare policy in Wales following devolution is traced. New Labour parenting and childcare policy agendas are assessed in relation to claims that policy will progress gender equality, offer parental choice, extend support to parents and meet the interests of children. Following analysis of policy texts, the assessment proceeds with reference to interviews with policy actors, presenting their perspectives on policy delivery in Wales. The degree to which a distinctive social policy agenda has been enabled by devolution is discussed. It is argued that there is evidence of a different style and vision in Wales that may provide opportunities for social movements. Guided by feminist standpoint theory and 'institutional ethnography', the study then turns to the childcare practices of mothers, fathers and grandmothers living in Swansea. The main focus is on the mothers ' accounts, how their caring practices are shaped by gendered moral codes and ideologies relating to the conduct of mothering. Key concepts used throughout the analysis include 'sensitive mothering' (Walkerdine and Lucey, 1989) and 'intensive mothering' (Hays, 1996); 'gendered moral rationalities' (Duncan and Edwards, 1999) and 'social/ emotional capital' (Reay, 2005). Nancy Fraser's (1997) discussion of claims for 'redistribution' and for 'recognition' is used to highlight tensions in policy agendas, gender politics and parental preferences. In conclusion the importance o f developing a feminist 'ethics of care' in childcare/ parenting policy is discussed. It is argued that childcare policy in Wales has been limited by a narrow understanding of the connections between parental preference, gender and childcare and the interconnections between informal care provided through gendered networks of social support and formal childcare provision need to be recognised.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available