Find thousands of books, manuscripts, visual materials and unpublished archives from our collections, many of them with free online access.

Mom : the transformation of motherhood in modern America / Rebecca Jo Plant.

  • Plant, Rebecca Jo, 1968-
  • Books

About this work


"In the early twentieth-century United States, to speak of "mother love" was to invoke an idea of motherhood that served as an all-encompassing identity, rooted in notions of self-sacrifice and infused with powerful social and political meanings. Sixty years later, mainstream views of motherhood had been transformed, and Mother found herself blamed for a wide array of social and psychological ills. In Mom, Rebecca Jo Plant traces this important shift through several key moments in American history and popular culture." "Exploring such topics as maternal caregiving, childbirth, and women's political roles, Mom vividly brings to life the varied groups that challenged older ideals of motherhood, including male critics who railed against female moral authority, psychological experts who hoped to expand their influence, and women who wished to be defined as more than wives and mothers. In her careful analysis of how motherhood came to be viewed as a more private and partial component of modern female identity, Plant ultimately shows how women's maternal role has shaped their place in American civic, social, and familial life."--BOOK JACKET.


Chicago ; London : The University of Chicago Press, 2010.

Physical description

xii, 250 pages ; 24 cm

Bibliographic information

Includes bibliographical references and index.


Debunking the all-American mom: Philip Wylie's momism critique -- Mothers of the nation: patriotic maternalism and its critics -- Pathologizing mother love: mental health and maternal affectivity -- Banishing the suffering mother: the quest for painless childbirth -- Mother-blaming and the feminine mystique: Betty Friedan and her readers.


  • English

Where to find it

  • LocationStatus
    History of Medicine
    Open shelves

Permanent link



  • 9780226670201
  • 0226670201