Duggan, Andrew (2009) Tales from the North: Challenging Mother Blame: Outsider Witness Practice. In: Narrative, Memory and Identities. University of Huddersfield, Huddersfield, pp. 145-153.

This paper is based on my conversations and experiences at the 8th International Narrative Therapy and Community Work Conference that was held in Kristiansand, Norway in June, 2007. I was fortunate to be given the opportunity to present some ideas and thoughts I had on challenging mother blame, and also to take part in an outsider witness group with some Norwegian mothers.
According to Jackson and Mannix (2004) mother blaming is a serious and pervasive problem, and is a term that describes how mothers are blamed and are being held responsible for the actions, behaviour, health and well being of their (even adult) children. They take this point further by suggesting that it also describes situations where women are blamed for their own predicaments, such as being a single parent or living in poverty. I increasingly found myself in gatherings with mothers in which a significant part of the conversations were focused on the blame and guilt they felt in relation to the difficulties experienced by their children or their own difficulties and the problems this caused for the wider community.

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