Mothering redoux: agency and joy in negotiating capitals of shame

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3 Scopus citations


This sonic narrative builds off of audio files collected by the author that exemplify the author's experience through the sounds of parenting an infant. Upon analyzing the files themselves along with the experience of capturing particular moments, the author argues that mothering is often characterized by sheer joy that lives with a constant and consistant undercurrent of socioculturally driven senses of shame. This paper argues that shame can be used as a form of capital rooted in sociocultural norms to declare people and groups incompetent or impotent in their interactions, possibilities, and their ways of being, knowing, and doing. Like many forms of social capital, capitals of shame provides privilege to some at the expense of others. Using the example of mothers becoming m/others through shame as a means to maintain patriarchal norms and values, this paper unpacks questions of oppression, agency, and refusal that are entangled in this form of capital.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)873-882
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Gender Studies
Issue number8
StatePublished - Nov 17 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Gender Studies
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)


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