On being a 'good' mother: The moral presentation of self in written life stories

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

227 Downloads (Pure)


This article examines how women present a moral self in relation to public norms that constitute'good' motherhood.Thefocus of this article is on two types of written life story: first, those written by mothers who express a past or current wish to divorce and, second, those written by lone mothers.The life stories offer insights into how individuals account for their actions in situations where they face the moral dilemma of clashing ethical norms - care for self and care for children - and how individuals with a 'spoiled identity' manage a moral presentation of self. The article concludes by critically examining the consequences of using written life stories rather than face-to-face interviews as data in a study of the moral tales that individuals tell. © 2008 BSA Publications Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)470-486
Number of pages16
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2008


  • Accounts
  • Divorce
  • Life stories
  • Lone motherhood
  • Moral presentation of self


Dive into the research topics of 'On being a 'good' mother: The moral presentation of self in written life stories'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this