Accepted Paper:

In the company of mothers: reflections on fieldwork with 'Mumpreneurs'  
Joanne Byrne (La Trobe University)

Paper short abstract:

'Mumpreneurs' (mothers who start-up businesses) complicate our understanding of both contemporary motherhood and economic labour. Drawing on recent fieldwork, this talk explores how the lived experiences of these women reflect and drive changing attitudes towards work/home, labour and motherhood.

Paper long abstract:

Over the last decade, there has been an increase in mothers departing traditional modes of employment for entrepreneurship. Though some reject the term, these mothers with businesses are often labelled 'Mumpreneurs'. The choice to become a 'Mumpreneur' is grounded in a complicated interplay of structural factors and life-narratives that speak to the tensions contemporarily felt by many working mothers. These mothers with small to medium - often home-based - businesses straddle the line between traditionally unrecognised, domestic work and economic, capitalist labour. This talk aims to show that these 'Mumpreneurs' complicate our understanding of both contemporary motherhood and economic labour. The lived experiences of these women will be discussed based on recently completed fieldwork (conducted within a digital ethnographic project). Through this grounded discussion, it will be argued that 'Mumpreneurship' is both a reflection of (and driving force behind) changing attitudes towards work/home, labour and motherhood.

Panel P05
ANSA postgraduate panel