This week we are reading the article “The Mommy Wars,” by Sharon Hays, who is also the author of The Cultural Contradictions of Motherhood. This article discusses the ideological perceptions of mothers who have a career and/or stay home with their children. Far from the polarizing debate that we see in politics, these mothers understand the challenges of both options and struggle with their own choice. For our blog posting, please summarize the main points of the article. What are the arguments for and against mothers working outside the home while their children are small? What are the realities of these choices?

Each group will also find further information related to the topics below to discuss in class. Please find informational websites, YouTube videos, books, sociological theorists, and other information and post links and descriptions within your posting.

Group 1: Find information on government benefits for parents in other countries, both in Europe and other continents, and compare this against the United States.

Group 2: Please find information on the phenomenon of “mommy bloggers.” What are they? What topics do they discuss? How are these mommies finding a place of community amongst each other?

Group 3: Find information on childfree couples? What are the social perceptions of them? Statistics? What are their own perceptions of being childfree?

Group 4: What are the ideological issues surrounding single parenthood? Statistics? Challenges? Benefits? Media representations?

Group 5: What part do fathers play in the discussion on parenthood? What are some websites or organizations that address issues of fatherhood? Statistics on father involvement with children? Media representations of fatherhood?

Group 6: What are domestic and international issues surrounding childcare? How do European countries handle childcare? How does the U.S. manage childcare? What are some statistics on the issue?

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