Mothers Unite! Organizing for Workplace Flexibility and the Transformation of Family Life

Jocelyn Elise Crowley, Author
Jocelyn Elise Crowley. Cornell Univ., $29.95 (240p) ISBN 978-0-8014-5175-1
Reviewed on: 05/20/2013
Release date: 06/01/2013
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Analyzing five national mothers’ organizations, Rutgers public policy professor Crowley (The Politics of Child Support in America) makes her case for workplace flexibility as the issue most likely to unite American mothers into a coherent, politically effective “Mother’s Movement.” The groups profiled include Christian-based Mothers of Preschoolers (MOPS); Mothers & More, a support group for mothers moving in and out of the workplace; Mocha Moms, a support organization for mothers of color; the National Association of Mothers’ Centers (NAMC), which offers childcare and activities for mothers and children; and MomsRising, an online group that discusses topics of national interest to mothers. Crowley shows that the participants in these groups are mostly looking for community and peer support, and are much less embroiled in the “Mommy Wars” than the media suggest. Both stay-at-home and working mothers see the value in having flexible career options. These groups’ members are mostly middle-class, leaving out some lower-income women who might be most affected by broad policy changes, and aside from Mocha Moms, they are overwhelmingly white. Nevertheless, Crowley’s data shows that these mothers are indeed interested in family-friendly workplace reform, and she optimistically posits that if the groups coordinated their efforts, they could become a force for change. (June)
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