Mothers and Others

The Role of Parenthood in Politics

Edited by Melanee Thomas and Amanda Bittner

  • Published: 2017. Paperback May 2018
  • Subject Listing: Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
  • Bibliographic information: 372 pp., 6 x 9 in.
  • Territorial rights: US rights only
  • Distributed for: UBC Press
  • Contents

The first major comparative analysis of parenthood in politics, Mothers and Others brings together leading scholars of gender and politics to discuss the role of parental status in political life. Examining three main areas of citizen engagement within the political system - parenthood and political careers, parenthood and the media, and parenthood and political behaviour - they argue that being a parent is a gendered identity that influences how, why, and to what extent women (and men) engage with politics. This raises important questions about how career politicians, voters, and the media navigate the intersection of gender, parental status, and politics.
Melanee Thomas is associate professor of political science at the University of Calgary. Amanda Bittner is associate professor of political science at Memorial University.

"Mothers and Others offers a comprehensive and international look at what motherhood means for the political lives of women as citizens, voters, candidates, and members of government."
-Laura Stephenson, associate professor of political science, University of Western Ontario

"Drawing on substantive empirical data, the authors challenge typical, run-of-the-mill work on women, parental status, and politics while adding intriguing ideas and important insights to the 2017 literature."
-Joan Grace, professor of political science, University of Winnipeg

1. The "Mommy Problem"? Gender, Parental Status, and Politics / Melanee Thomas and Amanda Bittner

Part 1: Parental Status and Political Careers
2. The (M)otherhood Trap: Reconsidering Sex, Gender, and Legislative Recruitment / Rosie Campbell and Sarah Childs
3. Lactating Mothers in Parliament: Beyond Accommodation / Barbara Arneil
4. Motherhood and Politics in Latin America: Continuity and Change / Susan Franceschet, Jennifer M. Piscopo, and Gwynn Thomas
5. "Society Is Balanced, So Local Boards Should Be Balanced Too": Gatekeeper Attitudes toward the Gender Balance Law in Iowa / Rebecca J. Hannagan and Christopher W. Larimer
6. Conservative Mothers in Politics: Pushing and Reinforcing Ideological Boundaries / Ronnee Schreiber

Part 2: Communications and Campaign Strategy
7. Private Mom versus Political Dad? Communications of Parental Status in the 41st Canadian Parliament / Melanee Thomas and Lisa Lambert
8. Mothers and the Media on the Campaign Trail / Melissa K. Miller
9. Identity and Activism in an Era of Politicized Motherhood / Carrie A. Langner, Jill S. Greenlee, and Grace Deason

Part 3: Parenthood and Opinion, Participation and Behaviour
10. The Parent Gap in Political Attitudes: Mothers versus Others / Elizabeth Goodyear-Grant and Amanda Bittner
11. Context, Motherhood, and the Gender Gap in Political Knowledge / Janine Giles
12. Attitudes toward Work, Motherhood, and Parental Leave in Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom / Allison Harell, Stuart Soroka, Shanto Iyengar, and Valérie Lapointe
13. Motherhood's Role in Shaping Political and Civic Participation / Brenda O'Neill and Elisabeth Gidengil
14. Toying Around with the Future: Sustainability within Families / Michele Micheletti and Dietlind Stolle
15. Gender, Parenthood, and Politics: What Do We Still Need to Know? / Amanda Bittner and Melanee Thomas