21st Century Motherhood: Experience, Identity, Policy, Agency

Author(s): Andrea O'Reilly

Feminism/Women's Studies | For Mothers

For more than two decades, the study of motherhood has focused on three main categories: motherhood as institution, motherhood as experience, and motherhood as identity or subjectivity. While this work has been groundbreaking, it fails to account for motherhood in the twenty-first century, which has been transformed by increasing agency, along with immense social, scientific, and technological changes.


A pioneer of modern motherhood studies, Andrea O'Reilly explores motherhood's representation and practice today. Her book considers developments that were unimaginable even a decade ago-the Internet, interracial surrogacy, raising transchildren, male mothering, intensive mothering, queer parenting, species-altering applications of new biotechnologies, and mothering in the post-9/11 era. Her work pulls together a range of disciplines and diverse themes in motherhood studies, confronting the effects of globalization, HIV/AIDS, welfare reform, political mothers, third wave feminism, and the evolving motherhood movement. O'Reilly incorporates Chicana, African-American, Canadian, Muslim, queer, low-income, trans, and lesbian perspectives. Her writing invites dialogue and debate so that readers can engage with these issues while also learning from them.

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Andrea O'Reilly is associate professor in the School of Women's Studies at York University and the founder and director of the Association for Research on Mothering (ARM). She is the editor and author of more than fourteen books on motherhood, and coeditor of Textual Mothers/Maternal Texts: Motherhood in Contemporary Women's Literatures.

General Fields

  • : 9780231149679
  • : Princeton University Press
  • : Princeton University Press
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : Andrea O'Reilly
  • : Paperback