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Motherhood, Gender, Careers, Caregiving, Comparative Study
Making Motherhood Work: How Women Manage Careers and Caregiving by Caitlyn Collins is one of those deeply researched and particularly well-written volumes in the social sciences that will be of equal interest to gender scholars and feminist activists, but also easily accessible to novices. At least this was my experience of the book: I read it in its entirety (all 300 pages with appendices!), from cover to cover, over the course of one long day. Although its main focus is European and American work-family policies—studied comparatively—which is a bit outside of my primary area of interest, I was captivated by Collins’s narrative thread, sophisticated argumentation, and political appeals. Perhaps my own experience of this book was plural: at times I read it as a feminist who cannot but help imagining a better world for women with children; at
other times as an anthropologist, stimulated by the rich ethnographic material of the book; and also as a (working) mother, often drawn to compare diverse experiences of motherhood to my own.