Maternal Thinking and the Politics of War

Citation:

Scheper‐Hughes, Nancy. 1996. “Maternal Thinking and the Politics of War.” Peace Review 8 (3): 353–58. doi:10.1080/10402659608425979.

Author: Nancy Scheper‐Hughes

Abstract:

Conventional ways of thinking about the gender of war and peace center on the too‐comfortable view of women—and especially mothers—as embedded in particular ways of being‐in‐the‐world that presumably make them resistant to wars and receptive to peacekeeping. Yet in many cases, this theory doesn't hold true. Instead, aspects of the experience of mothering—especially under conditions of scarcity, famine, oppression, and political disruption—can both instruct and allow women to readily surrender their sons (and their husbands) to war, violence, and death. There's a maternal ethos of “acceptable death” without which political violence and wars of all kinds would not be possible.

Topics: Armed Conflict, Gender, Women, Peacekeeping, Political Economies

Year: 1996

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