Community Discourses of Motherhood and Child Rearing in One Community of Northern Region of Thailand

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Nittaya Panngam
Khanitta Nuntaboot


Purpose: This study aimed at investigating the process of contributing community discourse of motherhood and child rearing and its impact on motherhood and child-rearing in the community.

Design: Qualitative study using critical discourse analysis.

Methods: The informants were selected through purposive sampling and subsequently snowball technique. There were a total of 90 informants in this study. Multiple data collecting methods were employed included in-depth interviews, participatory observation, and group discussion. Data were analyzed by critical discourse analysis and subsequently analyzed by content analysis.

Results: The findings revealed in three parts: 1) definition of motherhood and child-rearing is the process of interpretation and revealing identity upon motherhood and child-rearing through cultural perspective based on the language among mothers, families, and stakeholders which illustrated the interrelated meaning, 2) community discourses of motherhood and child-rearing, the process of ideal expression through the term of wording or discourses which demonstrated in two identities comprising discourse of empowerment and discourse of dependence; and 3) impact of community discourse of motherhood and child-rearing was the sociocultural practices resulting in the encouragement suitable maternal behavior and child rearing practices as well as the new approaches for motherhood and child-rearing support in the community.

Conclusion: This study presents a new body of knowledge that the meaning of motherhood and child-rearing are interrelated based on cultural perspective. Moreover, the process of interpretation upon motherhood and child-rearing through language reflected the production of empowerment discourses. Nurses and midwives who constitute a continuous movement on maternal and child care can be applied as a tool for strengthening community movement to develop maternal and child care systems systematically.


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