Psychotherapy and Counselling Federation of Australia (PACFA) conference June 2014

Mothers in transition: Changing gender dynamics in the home through strategic absence

Petra Bueskens - presentation PACFA 2014 conference

Petra Bueskens – presentation PACFA 2014 conference



This is a link to a video-taped invited lecture I gave at the PACFA conference in June 2014, ‘Complexity and Connectedness in Life and Love’. It is based on my PhD research with mothers who use ‘strategic absence’ to shift gender dynamics in the home. You can purchase the video here:

In the sociological and feminist research on motherhood there is consensus that key gender differences in income, employment status, leisure, autonomy as well as time spent in childcare and domestic work take shape and consolidate after “partners become parents”. I interviewed ten women I call “revolving mothers” who used situational absence to subvert – intentionally or not – the gendered dynamics of childcare, leisure and work in the home. I link the outcomes of this research to a critique of, and engagement with, social and feminist theories of the liberal individual, the social construction of intensive motherhood, articulations of self-identity and changing gender roles in the contemporary west.

Complexity & Connectedness In Life & Love
13-15 June 2014, Sydney, Australia
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PPMD Therapy | Psychodynamic Psychotherapy Melbourne and Daylesford | Petra Bueskens B.A, (Hons), Grad. Dip. (Psych. & Couns.)