Motherhood experiences of East Asian women in Britain
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Authors: Lim, H.J.
© 2020 selection and editorial matter, Fabienne Portier-Le Cocq; individual chapters, the contributors. This chapter examines the stories of first generation East Asian (Chinese, Korean, and Japanese) mothers living in Britain, drawing on life history interviews. The data was analysed using an intersectional framework, which consists of seven categories: Their motherhood and gender ideologies influenced by their cultural heritages; educational levels; economic circumstances of the families; reasons for migration; the length of settlement in Britain; gendered beliefs of their husbands influenced by their ethnic heritages; and the locality of their settlement. The findings suggest that the accounts of stay-at-home mothers were predominantly characterised by the importance of the mother’s direct care for the emotional wellbeing of their children. By contrast, the stories of employed mothers did not support the incessant presence of mothers, seeing care as replaceable by other women. Nonetheless, all East Asian women in this study continue to be subject to the gendered expectations of motherhood and most of them remained as a primary care provider.