Resilient young mothering: social inequalities, late modernity and the ‘problem’ of ‘teenage’ motherhood

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper draws on a systematic review of qualitative research to explore the resilient mothering practices that young, British, working-class mothers employ to care for their children. The synthesis of studies of UK mothers under the age of 20 demonstrates how young working-class women must mother in impoverished circumstances, at the same time as being discursively positioned outside the boundaries of ‘normal’ motherhood. Consequently, they utilize the only two resources to which they may have access: their families and their own personal capacities. Engaging with debates regarding the extent of the transformations of the social in late modernity, the paper discusses the most prominent of the young mothers’ practices: investment in the ‘good’ mother identity, maintaining kin relations, and prioritization of the mother/child dyad. The paper argues that, while the young mothers’ practices display reflexivity and individualism, they are also deeply embedded in, and structured by, social inequalities.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Youth Studies
Publication statusPublished - 2005


Dive into the research topics of 'Resilient young mothering: social inequalities, late modernity and the ‘problem’ of ‘teenage’ motherhood'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this