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Anthropologica

Print version ISSN 0254-9212

Abstract

ABDALA, Leila. Natural parenting: a biographical solution to the defamiliarization and commodification of care. Anthropologica [online]. 2019, vol.37, n.43, pp.107-132. ISSN 0254-9212.  http://dx.doi.org/10.18800/anthropologica.201902.005.

The article explores meanings and maternal practices associated with the parenting style that middle class professional women define as "natural". It describes the repertoire of maternal care practices that this parenting style implies, and analyzes the typical care situations that derive from it. Also, it identifies the role that men play in this parenting style from the perspective of female-mothers. The article is based on an ethnographic study of parenting and breastfeeding groups, carried out in Santa Fe city (Argentina). It adopted various techniques for data collection: field notes from workshop meetings, semi-structured interviews with mothers, and the followup of the documents and public speeches of the groups dedicated to research this topic. According to our findings, we maintain that the ways in which the women of professionalized middle classes who participate in the study live their motherhood and the demands for a "natural upbringing" in the context of commercialization of human care (Arlie Hochschild, 2008) can be understood as a biographical solution to the defamiliarization and commercialization of the care of young children. We maintain also that returning home for child-care acquires positive assessment among them.

Keywords : motherhood; natural upbringing; care situations; commodification of care.

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