A Southern encounter: Maternal body work and low-income mothers in South Africa

Article


Stumbitz, B. and Jaga, A. 2020. A Southern encounter: Maternal body work and low-income mothers in South Africa. Gender, Work and Organization. 27 (6), pp. 1485-1500. https://doi.org/10.1111/gwao.12527
TypeArticle
TitleA Southern encounter: Maternal body work and low-income mothers in South Africa
AuthorsStumbitz, B. and Jaga, A.
Abstract

This paper explores the maternal body work practices of black low-income mothers from resource-poor urban spaces in South Africa. Using Southern Theory to open our analytical lens, we recognise that location has implications for how we understand the embodiment of gender and the lactating body in the global South. We argue that maternal body work, as one form of gendered embodiment, must be understood in a postcolonial landscape where histories of colonisation and indigenous gender orders continue to shape how women respond to work conditions and how they manage the competing demands of work and breastfeeding. Our analysis from 51 in-depth interviews conducted in Cape Town, demonstrates that maternal body work practices are interpreted through the entanglement of embodiment and work and non-work spaces. By emphasising contextual specificities relating to low-income worker’s living, working and family realities, we advance studies on maternal body work and employment from the global South.

Keywordsbreastfeeding; embodiment; low income; maternal body work; Southern Theory
Research GroupCentre for Enterprise, Environment and Development Research (CEEDR)
PublisherWiley
JournalGender, Work and Organization
ISSN0968-6673
Electronic1468-0432
Publication dates
Online31 Aug 2020
Print26 Nov 2020
Publication process dates
Deposited25 Aug 2020
Submitted10 Jul 2020
Accepted10 Aug 2020
Output statusPublished
Publisher's version
License
File Access Level
Open
Copyright Statement

© 2020 The Authors. Gender, Work & Organization published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd
This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1111/gwao.12527
Web of Science identifierWOS:000564137600001
LanguageEnglish
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