Date of Award

12-2017

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

English

First Advisor

Veronica Watson

Second Advisor

Mike Sell

Third Advisor

Tanya Heflin

Abstract

This study examines how mother-daughter relationships in white culture differ from mother-daughter relationships in minority cultures, specifically Chicano, Asian American, and African American culture, due to white culture’s lack of appropriate esteem for the role of mothering. Mother-daughter relationships in minority cultures tend to be much stronger due to a cultural reverence of motherhood, resulting in less mother-blame and mother-guilt.

Fictional and non-fictional representations of the mother-daughter relationship typically include culturally normative viewpoints regarding the mother-daughter relationship which suggest that white women and women of color are influenced by cultural ideologies of femininity. In recognizing these discrepancies, dominant culture can begin to recognize their own practices to be white specific rather than universal. This can perhaps lead white culture to learn from minority culture’s cultivation of the mother-daughter bond.

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