隨著1960 年代第二波婦女運動的展開，逐漸重視女性經驗並挖掘女性歷史，掀起了美國婦女史研究熱潮，母親角色的重要性亦趨凸顯，然而，對母親和母親角色的歷史研究散見於婦女史和家庭史研究中，並未受到特別注意；一直到1980 和1990 年代，歷史學者才漸漸把母親角色獨立出來，開始有系統且大量的母親角色歷史研究。
Feminist Impacts on the Research of Motherhood in the Field of American Women’s History
Yen-Chuan Yu(Institute of European and American Studies Academia Sinica)
In the course of the second women’s movement in the late 1960s and 1970s, American feminists had been strongly motivated to analyze women’s subordinate status and trace the roots of women’s oppression. It was this growing interest in women’s history that paved the way for the establishment of a new research discipline: American women’s history.
The history of American mothers and motherhood did not receive much attention in the field of mainstream history, until the 1980s and 1990s, when, in response to the growing attention to women’s history, American feminist scholars initiated such historical research and began to publish extensively.
The development in the research of American motherhood was influenced by the progress in the sphere of contemporary feminist thought. In this article, I review some American feminist theories of motherhood and examine seminal studies in American women’s history of the past thirty years to determine how research in this field has been affected by feminist thought. After the introduction, I examine the challenges the second-wave feminism posed to the traditional thoughts, and then I lay out some key characteristics of feminist thoughts on motherhood. In the third part, utilizing these feminist key concepts on motherhood, I examine the research in history of American motherhood and conclude that it possesses three main characteristics: the construction of motherhood, historicization and diversity of motherhood, and maternalism.
American women’s history, women’s movement, feminism,motherhood, social construction, race, class, gender,maternalism