Geography Research Seminar: Prof. Sarah Holloway (Loughborough University), New economy, neoliberal state and professionalised parenting
Contemporary economic, political and social shifts in the Global North are reconfiguring the resolution of productive and reproductive labour. This talk explores how labour market change, the rolling out of the neoliberal state, and the professionalization of parenting are transforming the ways mothers of primary-school-aged children make decisions about how to secure a living and care for their children, and what role they think the state should play in facilitating working parenthood.
The talk makes two innovation contributions to knowledge. Firstly, it pinpoints strongly class-differentiated changes in women’s reconciliation of paid employment and caring work in contemporary Britain. It is vital that we understand these differences in women’s labour-force participation and their implications for class inequality. Secondly, the paper concentrates academic attention on the sweeping expansion in the state’s role in social reproduction through the provision of wraparound childcare in primary schools. Novel insights into parental attitudes to this service reveal competing understandings of what counts as equality for women, and stark variations in different women’s abilities to achieve this.
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