Motherhood Studies Practitioner Certification Curriculum

Module 1: Sociological Foundations

  • Historical, anthropological and sociological understandings of Motherhood
  • Training as a cultural assessor of media, marketing, advertising and social messaging, drawing on leading industry examples
  • Understand where intensive mothering ideology/ perfection mother cultural constructions come from
  • Discursive practices – how language is used to reinforce, challenge, and/or reflect good/bad mothering judgements

Module 2: Power and Performance

  • What is the patriarchy (and what isn’t it), how does it operates in mothers’ lives
  • How to reflexively examine patriarchal influence in our own lives, and actively build patriarchal resistance into our professional practice
  • Understand the ways ‘mothering’ is also about ‘performance’ and how to witness and respond to this with your clients
  • Examine and challenge the commodification of Motherhood, including reflections on your own role and responsibilities in this as a practitioner/business owner

Module 3: Situating Mothers Socioeconomically

  • Understand socioeconomics and research on broader trends and impacts – employment, education, income, class, race
  • Overview of institutionalized racism and racial violence experienced by mothers, examining individual racial biases
  • How to support and work with mothers on the ‘margins’ in vulnerable groups – Indigenous mothers, single mothers, mothers with disabilities, mothers of children with disabilities
  • Practices of connecting clients’ individual experiences of motherhood back to broader socioeconomic structures and how to respond/adjust your practice around this

Module 4: Locating the Individual within the Social

  • Micro versus macro forces – the individual and ‘mother’ within the ‘system
  • How to speak about mothers’ ‘identities’ and sense of self, both in your own work and with mothers themselves
  • Interdisciplinary approaches to supporting the individual within the social

Module 5: Mothers and Others

  • Relationality approaches drawing on sociology of the family and personal life
  • The problems with individualisation and how we can advocate for and support interdependence
  • Exploring the mother-daughter dyad and mother-son relationships
  • Gender inequality and domestic spaces

Module 6: Social Systems and Emotions

  • Emotional labour, mental work, and maternal thinking as both individual and social practices – how to support clients through individually experiencing societal patterns and problems
  • How trauma-informed approaches fit within social models of support
  • Risks of pathologization, and ensuring we implement appropriate safe-guarding
  • Research summaries for supporting mothers through experiences of maternal guilt, anger, and ambivalence

Module 7: Empowered Mothering Practices

  • Emergence of matricentric feminism and how to apply a matricentric feminist lens to your business and/or practice
  • What empowered mothering is and how it can be supported as an individual practice with clients, while they are often located within a disempowering system
  • The meaning and complexities of feminist mothering and maternal activism in public and private spaces, and support for how to confidently and skillfully navigate these discussions and perspectives in your work.

Module 8: Integrating Reflective Practice

  • How to apply course content to different specialty areas and professions.
  • Processes of reflexivity, transparency, and working authentically
  • How to best equip yourself for future learning to ensure you finish this course not just with knowledge acquisition, but with a life-long skill-set that to shape both your personal and professional future in supporting mothers.

Motherhood Studies Practitioner Certification


© Copyright, 2020, Sophie Brock.