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Children Framing ChildhoodsWorking-Class Kids' Visions of Care$
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Wendy Luttrell

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781447352853

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447352853.001.0001

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Motherhood, childhood, and love labor in family choreographies of care

Motherhood, childhood, and love labor in family choreographies of care

(p.85) 3 Motherhood, childhood, and love labor in family choreographies of care
Children Framing Childhoods

Wendy Luttrell

Policy Press

This chapter discusses how the Park Central School children used their cameras to render “choreographies of care” visible and to acknowledge and affirm its value. “Choreographies of care” is a concept meant to highlight the constellation of resources, people, rhythms shaped by different occupational demands and shifting schedules, feelings, and intimacies of family living. Amidst prevailing deficit and stigmatizing portrayals of wage-poor households and working mothers' invisibility, the children's photographs and accounts accomplish two things. First, when given the opportunity, the children confirmed their mothers' care work, educational presence, and value. Second, the children, albeit differently for boys and girls, highlighted their own participation in choreographies of family care. The chapter then calls the children's images and accounts counter-narratives of care because they offer an alternative way of seeing care as a concerted, collective activity, not as individualized or unidirectional. Through these interdependent activities (children and adults), the children's gendered identities are forged and emotional relations are structured.

Keywords:   Park Central School, children, family living, wage-poor households, working mothers, family care, care, gendered identities, emotional relations, choreographies of care

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