This article will examines the ways the “body” and the “house,” as social spaces, take part in the production of motherhood. A social space is simultaneously a material production of human labour, the concentration of social relations, a medium that organizes social actions, and a result of those actions. As an example, think of the images and symbols that architects design, and then build based upon them. Not only the social images that we have of these spaces, but also their material form and structure and organization, regulate and normalize the ways we use them. In this analysis, social space is an elemental condition to the study and experience of every human phenomenon. So, motherhood is an identity that both requires and produces a social space in its mental, physical, and social dimensions.
Motherhood will be analyzed as a socially constructed identity, produced through spaces of the body and the house, and in relation to the patriarchal, technocratic and capitalist ideologies. The institution and experiences of motherhood will be critically evaluated as socially constructed identities. These identities are produced through space of the body and the space of the house, and are completely connected with the patriarchal, technocratic and capitalist ideologies, which try to establish paternal authority over the mother. These ideologies are tightly interwoven ways of thinking and are reinforced by the social spaces of motherhood.
True American stories will be used as examples of portrayal of motherhood, as embodied experience and lived spaces, that functions to reproduce particular images of motherhood according to the above ideologies. These stories will also be used to examine the images of maternal and paternal authority.
Two questions will be posed: 1) How are the body and the house produced by the production of motherhood? 2) How do the body and the house participate in the production of motherhood? To answer these questions, 1) the problem of the colonization of the social space of the body and the social space of the house will be examined; and 2) the body and the house as spaces where and through which motherhood is constructed will be analyzed.
A social space that is important in the analysis of motherhood is the home as a "private space." From the design of devices as privately used commodities, to the design of individual homes as spaces of activities such as cooking, sleeping or entertaining, to the use of zoning practices in which the residence will be physically removed from any shared community space, the dualistic relation between public and private space is objectified. On a different level, we see the symbolic associations North-American culture attaches to women and suburbs, and to men and cities. The urban life and men are generally considered to be more aggressive and assertive, creating important world events, while women and suburbs share home life, relaxation and closeness to nature. In this way, through architecture and urban planning, women are generally consigned to live only in the private space and be identified with it, while men are given the domain of both public and private spheres.
The article will focus on the way spaces are produced by ideologies to shape and organize today’s motherhood. Ideologies are materialized in specific social spaces through disciplinary power. They produce new objects and subjects of knowledge, incite and channel individual and group desires, and establish bodily norms and techniques for observing, monitoring and controlling bodily capacities and processes.
The social spaces that are imposed upon women in spaces of motherhood and upon the space of the house will be critically evaluated in order to reveal the effects of different ideologies on the spaces of motherhood.
Continued on Part 1
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