Maternities and modernities: colonial and postcolonial experiences in Asia and the Pacific

Kalpana Ram (Editor), Margaret Jolly (Editor)

Research output: Book/ReportEdited Book/Anthologypeer-review


Feminist theories have focused on contemporary, Western, middle-class experiences of maternity. This volume brings other mothers, from Asia and the Pacific, into scholarly view, aiming to show that birthing and mothering can be a very different experience for women in other parts of the world. The contributors document a wide variety of conceptions of motherhood, and drawing on ethnographic and historical research, they explore the relationships between motherhood as embodied experience and the local discourses on maternity. They show how the experience of motherhood has been influenced by missionaries, by colonial policies and by the introduction of Western medicine and biomedical birthing methods, and raise important questions about the costs and benefits of becoming a modern mother in these societies.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationCambridge
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages305
ISBN (Print)9780511621826, 0511621825, 0521584280, 9780521586146, 9780521584289, 0521586143
Publication statusPublished - 1998


  • Pacific Area
  • Asia
  • Mothers
  • Motherhood

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