In Journal of Youth Studies is het artikel 'Navigating norms and structures: young mothers’ pathways to economic independence' verschenen. Auteur is Marijke Sniekers, onderzoeker Neimed, en co-auteur prof.dr. Marieke van den Brink (Gender and Diversity Studies, Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen).
Understanding the complex relationships between childcare, education and work is crucial to acknowledging how young mothers express agency in their pathways to economic independence. Instead of considering them as a policy target group at risk for multiple reasons, this research reverses the perspective by focusing on young mothers’ agency in school and paid employment. The study is set in the Netherlands, where economic independence has become a focal point of social policy and practice, especially for young people. It explores how young mothers navigate norms and structures of education and employment, drawing on 18 months of participant observation and 41 semi-structured interviews with young mothers. Notions of ‘everyday’ and ‘bounded’ agency are used in analysing structural limitations (e.g. irregular working hours in ‘women’s jobs’, a lack of maternity leave at school) and norms (e.g. completing higher education and finding a good job versus being primary caretakers, enjoying children and being role models). School and workplace structures reinforce contradictory discourses of motherhood and economic independence. Young mothers exhibit agency in considering their options around job security, work experience, wages, student loans and spending time with children. In doing so, they navigate structural and normative collisions of economic independence and mothering.
Sniekers, M., & van den Brink, M. (2018). Navigating norms and structures: young mothers’ pathways to economic independence. Journal of Youth Studies, 1-18. doi:10.1080/13676261.2018.1492102