Mothers and researchers in the making: Negotiating ‘new’ motherhood within the ‘new’ academia

Astrid Huopalainen, Suvi T Satama

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

101 Citations (Scopus)


How do early-career academic mothers balance the demands of contemporarymotherhood and academia? More generally, how do working mothers develop theirembodied selves in today’s highly competitive working life? This article responds to arecent call to voice maternal experiences in the field of organization studies. Inspiredby matricentric feminism and building on our intimate autoethnographic diary notes,we provide a fine-grained understanding of the changing demands that constitute theongoing negotiation of ‘new’ motherhood within the ‘new’ academia. By highlightingthe complexity of embodied experience, we show how motherhood is not an entirelynegative experience in the workplace. Despite academia’s neoliberal tendencies, thesocial privilege of whiteness, heterosexuality and the middle class enables – at times– simultaneous satisfaction with both motherhood and an academic career. 

Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)98–121
JournalHuman Relations
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2018
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

Cite this