Risk-Conscious Motherhood: The Impact of Experts' Risk Discourses on Mothering Experience


SADIKOĞLU Z. Z.

ISTANBUL UNIVERSITESI SOSYOLOJI DERGISI-ISTANBUL UNIVERSITY JOURNAL OF SOCIOLOGY, vol.41, no.1, pp.43-71, 2021 (Journal Indexed in ESCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 41 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.26650/sj.2021.41.1.0016
  • Title of Journal : ISTANBUL UNIVERSITESI SOSYOLOJI DERGISI-ISTANBUL UNIVERSITY JOURNAL OF SOCIOLOGY
  • Page Numbers: pp.43-71
  • Keywords: Risk consciousness, Reflexive scientification, Aesthetic reflexivity, Expert knowledge, Motherhood

Abstract

This research aims to describe the effects of the changes in the nature of contemporary risks and the increased risk perception due to processes such as reflexive scientification, aesthetic reflexivity, and the changing scope of health on the mothering experiences of well-educated Turkish women in the middle and upper socioeconomic status groups. The research was designed using a phenomenological research model. The study group was conducted with a total of 36 participant mothers, of whose children, 12 are between the ages of 0-6, 12 are between the ages of 7-12, and 12 are between the ages of 13-18. The data were analyzed using categorical content analysis. According to the research findings, the benefits for children associated with correctly managing pregnancy and birth, reducing or managing possible risks, and ensuring safe attachment and effective communication in the mother-child relationship stand out in experts' evaluations and intensify mothers' perceptions of the risks associated with not obtaining these benefits. In addition to these, these same evaluations paid attention to how the risks connected to consuming additive products and having an unsuitable social environment contribute to the understanding of risk-conscious motherhood, an important component of the habitus of well-educated mothers in the middle-upper socioeconomic status groups. Accordingly, mothers accept controlling their children's lives as their own duty regardless of their consequences and costs. They embrace behaviors and attitudes that reduce risks and take responsibility for both supporting their children's development and protecting them against existing/potential dangers that threaten their well-being.