Psychoanalysis Constructs Motherhood

Beverly Birns, Niza ben-Ner

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The image of mother and child pervades Western culture—from Michelangelo to Kollwitz, from Sophocles to Virginia Woolf, and from Locke to Freud. For centuries, mothers have been portrayed in extremes: the “good” mother, like a Madonna, is pale, serious, but gentle; the “bad” mother is big, ugly, and wicked. These images of motherhood can influence how women provide for their children and how they feel about themselves.
Original languageEnglish GB
Title of host publicationThe Different Faces of Motherhood
EditorsBeverly Birns, Dale F. Hay
Place of PublicationBoston, MA
PublisherSpringer US
Number of pages26
ISBN (Print)978-1-4899-2109-3
StatePublished - 1988


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