‘Writing’ aesth–ethics on the child’s body: Developing maternal subjectivities through clothing our children

Astrid Huopalainen, Satama Suvi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


What could we learn from the ‘aesth-ethic’ practices of clothing children? The dual focus of this paper 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 organisation studies. Drawing upon the literatures on aesthetic labour and maternal subjectivities in our scholarly field, we develop a fine-grained understanding of the relatively intense and surprisingly effortful maternal laboursthat 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 aesth–ethic ‘writing’ on the child’s body that (re)produces certain sociocultural understandings about mothering, sustainability and childhood(s) within a Nordic  context embraced byWestern consumerism. By considering the limitations of the approach taken to drawing wider conclusions about motherhoods, identity construction and clothing, we advance the understanding of the development of particular middle-class maternal subjectivities seeking to problematise mass consumerism through childrenswear and illuminates how idea(l)s concerning gender and childhood(s) are being (re)produced in and through clothing.

Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)
JournalGender, Work and Organization
Publication statusPublished - 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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