Graduate Colloquium: "Mundane Mommies & Doting Daddies: Family-Oriented Consumption & Gendered Parenting in Philadelphia Museums"

Tuesday, April 9, 2013 - 9:30am
Location: Meyerson Hall G-12 - Institute of Urban Research Office

Please join us for the next Urban Studies Graduate Student colloquium, with coffee, croissants and conversation on Tuesday March 19, 9:30-11am, in the Institute for Urban Research Office, Meyerson G-12. The series provides a way for graduate students who are or have been a part of the Urban Studies Certificate program to come together to share their work.

Author: Betsie Garner, Sociology   

Discussant: Dr. Demie Kurz, Co-Director Women’s Studies

Abstract: This paper addresses meaning-making and the gendered division of labor for parents in the context of urban, public sites of family-oriented consumption.  I ask the empirical question of how middle- and upper-middle-class mothers compare to fathers in terms of the parenting they practice at four Philadelphia museum sites.  Based on 120+ hours of ethnographic fieldwork, I illustrate a gendered division of labor in which fathers play with their children and mothers manage their children.  I argue that through the performance of specific parenting practices such as choosing whether or not to purchase souvenirs and sugary snacks for their children, fathers construct family museum visits as special, memorable, and important while mothers regard family museum visits as routine and ordinary.  My findings have implications for theorizing differences in family-oriented consumption for mothers and fathers and conceptualizing differences between work and leisure in the context of family time.