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Mothers in the twenty-first century confront us, both in clinical practice and in theory, with fascinating challenges that to some extent subvert the traditional maternal ideal: the motherhood of single women, motherhood in which the mother-child relationship seems minimal (in the case of very busy working mothers), teenage motherhood in which there is no true awareness of the maternal function, motherhood in couples of homosexual women, men who take upon themselves the maternal function (men-mothers), complex motherhood by virtue of the multiple variants that have nowadays become possible thanks to new reproductive techniques, shared motherhood, surrogate motherhood, sublimated motherhood, perverse motherhood.Psycho-history, the accumulation and variety of psychoanalytic theories of femininity and motherhood, the contribution of gender studies, cross-disciplinary research, and listening to what our patients have to say - all this has yielded, in the past few decades, much controversial data that challenges orthodox classical thinking with respect to the role and function of women as mothers. The contributors to this book, from an array of different cultural backgrounds, draw on these developments to consider the issue of motherhood in the twenty-first century, from fascinating and varied viewpoints.This book takes a fresh look at women in their maternal role. In the modern age, with its frenzy and heterogeneity, where the mixture of modernity and post-modernity is not without danger, motherhood cannot escape the impact of social and cultural transformations.

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