Event Title

Identity Formation and Emotion Management Strategies of Mothers

Location

CSU 201

Start Date

9-4-2012 2:00 PM

End Date

9-4-2012 3:00 PM

Student's Major

Sociology and Corrections

Student's College

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Mentor's Name

Emily Boyd

Mentor's Department

Sociology and Corrections

Mentor's College

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Description

When a woman becomes a mother it is arguably one of the most life changing and defining moments of their lives. It is evident 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, how is a mother’s identity shaped after having children, while adjusting to the role as mom? I became motivated to research this topic because, as a mother myself, I recognize the covert difficulties of one’s identity changing after becoming a mother. To investigate emotion management and identity transitions of mothers, I conducted five semi- structured qualitative interviews with young mothers in Minnesota using the Grounded Theory method (Charmaz 2006). I transcribed and coded each interview and wrote thorough analytical memos, which helped in writing my final analysis. The most important finding in my 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 social world. Specifically, I found they do this while interacting with other moms in their friendship networks as well as through online sources such as Facebook. Thus, moms are actively manipulating their presentation of self through social media websites and interactions with their peers. 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.

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Apr 9th, 2:00 PM Apr 9th, 3:00 PM

Identity Formation and Emotion Management Strategies of Mothers

CSU 201

When a woman becomes a mother it is arguably one of the most life changing and defining moments of their lives. It is evident 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, how is a mother’s identity shaped after having children, while adjusting to the role as mom? I became motivated to research this topic because, as a mother myself, I recognize the covert difficulties of one’s identity changing after becoming a mother. To investigate emotion management and identity transitions of mothers, I conducted five semi- structured qualitative interviews with young mothers in Minnesota using the Grounded Theory method (Charmaz 2006). I transcribed and coded each interview and wrote thorough analytical memos, which helped in writing my final analysis. The most important finding in my 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 social world. Specifically, I found they do this while interacting with other moms in their friendship networks as well as through online sources such as Facebook. Thus, moms are actively manipulating their presentation of self through social media websites and interactions with their peers. 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.

Recommended Citation

Reichel, Annakeiko. "Identity Formation and Emotion Management Strategies of Mothers." Undergraduate Research Symposium, Mankato, MN, April 9, 2012.
http://cornerstone.lib.mnsu.edu/urs/2012/oral-session-10/1