How to be a good mother: the case of middle class mothering in Russia
Contemporary motherhood in Russia is a complex discursive field. The article analyses various ways in which knowledge about motherhood produces specific maternal experiences. The general theoretical framework is the foucauldian concept of discursive power based on knowledge. Motherhood is viewed as a class specific practice. The primary focus of the article analysis is the Russian middle class motherhood. The paper analyses the ways in which middle class women talk about motherhood and negotiate various forms of expert knowledge. The author on the basis of analysis of the interview and parental forums discussions data, and specifically on elaborating the ways in which class is integral to the normative understandings of motherhood. The article presents the short theoretical discussion of the concept of motherhood in relation to such concepts as power and social class; describes political and cultural context of motherhood in Russia; elaborates the concept of responsibility and a number of related to it categories as the primary meaning of middle class motherhood. In the conclusion the issue of why and when Russian middle class mothers consider themselves as “responsible” is discussed.