This study examined how family social workers in social services departments in Israel perceive motherhood and mothering, in particular how the various aspects of the 'good mother' myth are evident in their notions of motherhood and how these are manifested in their encounters with their female clients who are mothers. The research methodology was qualitative, emerging from a critical feminist perspective. Indepth, semi-structured interviews were held with twenty-two Jewish social workers in ten welfare departments in Israel. The study's findings suggest that, while the participants' descriptions do not reflect all aspects of the 'good mother' myth, elements of that myth do feed into their notions of motherhood. Encounters with the clients' mothering practices raised mixed feelings in the social workers and, while most of the participants saw a connection between their clients' mothering practices and their difficult life stories, they opted for a psycho-educational approach in their work with the mothers.
- Motherhood perceptions
- Social workers
- The 'good mother' myth
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Health(social science)
- Social Sciences (miscellaneous)