Stories that memorabilia tell in mother-daughter exchanges

Anne Keary, Julie Faulkner

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    This chapter focuses on memorabilia that pass among mothers and daughters. Luce Irigaray, a French psychoanalyst, suggests that small handmade objects be interposed between mothers and daughters to create a personal spatial identity. This elusive feminine space was uncovered in this study when women and girls were asked about objects and material items that had been handed down to them through the maternal line. Anne, the co-author, has a wooden carving from Oberammergau, Germany of St. Anne and her daughter Mary that had passed through her maternal line. It is a symbol, a sign of her female forebears creating a spiritual and material space for the mother–daughter relationship. By foregrounding stories about memorabilia, it is suggested that the multiple dimensions of women’s lives come into view. Such stories affirm female subjectivity within the boundaries of social, cultural, familial and religious discourses. In this study, these objects served as mnemonic devices for generating and provoking mother–daughter stories. This chapter unpacks some of the meanings given to these memorabilia.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationEducation, work and Catholic life
    Subtitle of host publicationStories of three generations of Australian mothers and daughters
    EditorsAnne Keary
    Place of PublicationSingapore Singapore
    Number of pages21
    ISBN (Electronic)9789811389894
    ISBN (Print)9789811389887
    Publication statusPublished - 2020


    • qualitative longitudinal research
    • Australian mother and daughter relationship
    • Inter-generational relationship
    • Generation and change
    • Girl's Education in Australia
    • Women's Life Trajectories in Australia
    • Australian Women's Studies
    • Catholic influences
    • Multi-methodological Approach to Research
    • continuity and change
    • Cultural Studies

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