'Writing' aesth-ethics on the child's body: Developing maternal subjectivities through clothing our children

A1 Journal article (refereed)

Internal Authors/Editors

Publication Details

List of Authors: Astrid Huopalainen, Suvi Satama
Publisher: WILEY
Publication year: 2020
Journal: Gender, Work and Organization
Journal acronym: GENDER WORK ORGAN
Volume number: 27
Start page: 98
End page: 116
Number of pages: 19
ISSN: 0968-6673


What could we learn from the 'aesth-ethic' practices of clothing children? The dual focus of this article is to analyse the everyday clothing of children as well as the development of maternal subjectivities as relevant to discussions of aesthetic labour in the field of organization studies. Drawing upon the literatures on aesthetic labour and maternal subjectivities in the field of organization studies, we develop a fine-grained understanding of the relatively intense and effortful maternal labours that clothing our children encapsulates. Methodologically, we use autoethnographic diary notes combined with feminist 'memory work' to analyse clothing as an affectual form of storytelling or 'writing' on the child's body that (re)produces certain sociocultural understandings about mothering, sustainability and childhood(s) in a Nordic context embraced by western consumerism. By considering the limitations of the approach taken to drawing wider conclusions about motherhoods, identity construction and clothing, this article advances our understanding of the development of particular middle-class maternal subjectivities seeking to problematize mass consumerism through childrenswear, and how idea(l)s concerning gender and childhood(s) are being (re)produced in and through clothing.


aesthetic labour, autoethnography, Clothing, maternal subjectivities, memory work

Last updated on 2020-26-05 at 02:54