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A Qualitative Research On Motherhood Experiences  

Süheyla SARITAŞ, Aslıhan BOZKURT  


Throughout history, socio-economic, cultural and political changes and transformations occurred in the structures of societies have also affected the basic institutions as well. As one of the basic institutions, the family and its elements have also been affected as mentioned above too. Undoubtedly, as one of the most basic actors of the family, woman and her roles and responsibilities are worth examining in all periods. Due to the changes which are experienced very fast in the modern world, it is certain that woman tries to position her own place and creates her identity, just like all the individuals in society. The factors for the changes in the structures of the family have been shown in the roles and responsibilities of the woman and her active role in the public sphere. The perception in traditional societies where man is positioned outside the house and woman in the house is now abandoned, specifically in modern societies. On the other hand, as woman entered the work life, the social structure made her part of the social division of labor and also forced her to continue her traditional roles and responsibilities. Especially, the woman who has experience of motherhood has also become an important actor in work life while she is dealing with child care and house work. The phenomenon of motherhood is defined as the practical realities and social importance of being a mother. This idea evaluates that motherhood is a socio-cultural phenomenon apart from a biological experience. In other words, the experience of motherhood is a social and cultural aspect rather than an individual one. Motherhood and maternity experiences are not only individual experiences but also refers to the identity of woman and her social status. The perception of motherhood which has changed in human history is generally defined and shaped as a social role and responsibilities in almost all societies. For this reason, the different motherhood roles emerged in different cultures and periods. This study explores how mothers interpret motherhood, what are the strengths and weaknesses during motherhood cycle, generally accepted motherhood best practices, parental education, resources to which mothers refer during motherhood experiences, generally accepted motherhood model, relationship between mother and child, child care, challenges faced in terms of child care and parenting, how changes in financial income affect motherhood in general, the effects of social media and motherhood models depending on socio-economic status. Main focus throughout the research is on motherhood experiences. The research is a qualitative case study for which Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) is adopted utilizing interviews performed with 40 mothers that live in Balikesir. This research reveals the fact that motherhood models change depending on the socioeconomic status; however, there are certain instances in which socioeconomic status does not matter. The study reveals that motherhood experiences do not change according to class difference and every mother has high consciousness and awareness of this experience. Today motherhood experiences are obtained not only from a previous generation or social environment but also virtual environment, knowledge transmitted from masters, scientific information. This situation has reveals that motherhood experience is related with the cultural change and transformation.