Research Article

Mothering in socioeconomically marginalised communities in South Africa: A conceptual development


From a sociopsychological perspective, mothering is variously described in the research literature. This theory synthesis research design study aims to integrate our current understanding of “the familiar” phenomenon of mothering by asking: (i) how mothering is understood across diverse realities within socioeconomically marginalised contexts in South Africa; and (ii) how the domain of mothering in the South African context integrates across theoretical perspectives of motherhood. From the present analysis, findings suggest that mothering needs to be viewed across contexts of being lone, absent, replaced, shared, marginalised, and disrupted. In conclusion, “collective” mothering presents a source of resilience in family functioning in socioeconomically marginalised South African communities.

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