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1st Student's Major

Sociology and Corrections

1st Student's College

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Students' Professional Biography

Annakeiko Frink Reichel is a native of Mankato, Minnesota. While attending college at Minnesota State University-Mankato, she was able to present research at the Undergraduate Research Symposium where she received the honor of “best presentation” in her session. Reichel was also selected to present her research at the first annual Minnesota Conference of Undergraduate Scholarly and Creative Activity. She recently graduated with a B.S. in Sociology in the spring of 2012. In the fall of 2012 she will continue her education at Minnesota State University-Mankato pursing a Master’s Degree in Sociology while working as a graduate assistant in the Department of Sociology. Reichel hopes to successfully complete her Master’s Degree and continue on to pursue a Ph.D. in Sociology.

Mentor's Name

Emily Boyd

Mentor's Email Address

emily.boyd@mnsu.edu

Mentor's Department

Sociology and Corrections

Mentor's College

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Abstract

When a woman becomes a mother it is arguably one of the most life changing and defining moments of their lives. Becoming a mom and the emotions that are involved in the process are often a neglected topic in the United States. It is clear that the social world assumes mothers will automatically adjust to the role of being a mom without asking questions such as, what are the challenges moms face after having children? Or more importantly, how is a mother’s identity shaped after having children and while adjusting to the role as mom? The first author (AR) became motivated to research this topic because, as a mother, she recognized the covert difficulties of one’s identity changing after becoming a mother. To investigate emotion management and identity transitions the first author (AR) conducted and transcribed five semi- structured qualitative interviews with young mothers in Minnesota using the Grounded Theory method (Charmaz 2006). Both authors contributed to the data analysis. Each interview was then transcribed, coded, and thorough analytical memos were written, using the Grounded Theory method (Charmaz 2006), which contributed to the final data analysis. The most important finding in the study is that moms are constantly negotiating and projecting a perfected identity in an effort to assimilate to the idealized version of what a mom “should” be in the United States. Specifically, they do this with other moms in their friendship networks as well as through online sources such as Facebook. In conclusion, being a mom is a difficult process and these difficulties are clearly exacerbated by society’s portrayal of the ideal version of a mom.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License

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