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'You don't train for a marathon sitting on the couch': Performances of pregnancy 'fitness' and 'good' motherhood in Melbourne, Australia

Citation

Nash, MB, 'You don't train for a marathon sitting on the couch': Performances of pregnancy 'fitness' and 'good' motherhood in Melbourne, Australia, Women's Studies International Forum, 34, (1) pp. 50-65. ISSN 0277-5395 (2010) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2010 Elsevier

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.wsif.2010.10.004

Abstract

This article explores informants' negotiations around the performance of pregnancy "fitness" and "good" mothering through exercise. Although exercise has been discussed as a way to "empower" middle-class women, I suggest that this position is problematic in its co-optation of the language of "feminism" and also in its lived experience. For my pregnant informants, "liberation" through exercise was clearly contradictory. In this article, I argue that pregnant women are encouraged to embody a "fit" pregnancy. Findings suggest that there is no time in a woman's life when she is "free" to be inactive; she must constantly engage in a high-level of physical activity to maintain an appropriately feminine body and to prove her "self" "publicly" as capable.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Research Division:Studies in Human Society
Research Group:Sociology
Research Field:Sociology not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Specific Population Health (excl. Indigenous Health)
Objective Field:Women's Health
Author:Nash, MB (Dr Meredith Nash)
ID Code:67740
Year Published:2010
Web of Science® Times Cited:27
Deposited By:Sociology and Social Work
Deposited On:2011-03-07
Last Modified:2015-02-11
Downloads:0

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