Seminar: Raising Generation Rx: Mothering Kids with Invisible Disabilities in an Age of Inequality

Wednesday 21st October from 13:00-14:30 in room 6.63, King’s Building (Take the lifts after the Great Hall to level 6, turn right out of the lifts and follow the corridor along and K6.63 is on your right), Strand Campus, King’s College London

Professor Linda BlumDepartment of Sociology and Anthropology at Northeastern University, Boston, USA

Abstract: Linda Blum will provide an overview of her new book Raising Generation Rx: Mothering Kids with Invisible Disabilities in an Age of Inequality. Based on three sources of qualitative data – in-depth interviews with diverse U.S. mothers, observations of special-education parents’ meetings, and analysis of popular advice — she examines how the burgeoning diagnoses of children in the U.S. with social, emotional, behavioral disorders conveys new cultural messages, revises notions of childrearing for an age of inequality, and compels mothers to take “personal responsibility” for maximizing their children’s brain development.  She reveals how mothers in widely varied households advocate for their children in the dense bureaucracies of the American educational and medical systems and wrestle with difficult decisions about the use of psychoactive medications. Finally, she demonstrates that an intersectional analysis is needed to make sense of U.S. mothers’ experiences of stigma and mother-blame.

Linda Blum is a qualitative, ethnographic sociologist who studies persistence, change, and contradictions in contemporary gender relations. Her interests include: Gender, Medicine, and the Body; Work, Family, and Intersections of Gender, Race, and Class Inequality; Sociological Theory; Qualitative and Ethnographic Methods; Feminist Theory and Methods. She began her sociological career researching and writing on women’s grassroots movements for comparable pay, but has since developed another focus on ideologies of motherhood in the United States, how we judge fit and unfit, respectable and disreputable, and measure mothers against each other in ways that reinforce class and race inequality. She is the author of Between Feminism and Labor: The Significance of the Comparable Worth Movement (1991, University of California Press); At the Breast: Ideologies of Breastfeeding and Motherhood in the Contemporary United States (1999, Beacon); and Raising Generation Rx: Mothering Kids with Invisible Disabilities in an Age of Inequality (2015, NYU Press).

For more information about the SSHM Seminar Series go here.

A selection of audio-recorded talks is available here.

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