NorM - Norms around Motherhood

What is a ‘good’ mother? Which norms around motherhood do exist? How do mothers deal with related attitudes and attributions?

A differentiated analysis of social norms about ‘good’ motherhood remains elusive, particularly regarding potentially conflicting norms, their meanings and consequences for individual mothers, and regarding the question as to how mothers develop strategies to deal with these norms in their daily lives.

The study will address these research gaps by pursuing two main objectives: (1) evaluating similarities and differences in norms about ‘good’ motherhood in Austria and (2) providing in-depth insights into individual mothers’ strategies of dealing with normative discourses.

The study is based on two methodical approaches: We will conduct focus group discussions in four Austrian regions, using vignettes, that is, short stories participants can discuss. To capture a variety of norms around motherhood, focus group members will include a mix of genders, education levels, regional backgrounds, ages, and parental status. By means of individual interviews, we will also investigate mothers’ perceptions of norms and their strategies in dealing with normative accounts.

Principal investigator: Assoz. Prof. Dr. Ulrike Zartler, PD
Project duration: 01/03/20 → 28/02/23
Funding agency: FWF (Austrian Science Fund)