Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Sociology and Anthropology
Dr. Mary Ann Lamanna
Dr. Mark Rousseau
Dr. Deborah Smith Howell
In an effort to determine how judges define "motherhood" a cluster criticism analysis was employed on twenty seven court opinions. These court opinions stemmed from custody cases between biological fathers and third parties. Results indicated three major themes emerging from the discourse. The themes labeled Lie/Deception and Rejected/Thwarted indicated that mothers are held accountable when they do not live up to the dominant cultural ideology of motherhood. The theme labeled Mother's Legal Status refers to the debate within law over the equality of men and women in the case of pregnancy.
Burbach, Mary A., "Motherhood Discourse in the Law: Biological Fathers and Third Party Cases" (1997). Student Work. 2264.
A Thesis Presented to the Department of Sociology and Anthropology and the Faculty of the Graduate College University of Nebraska In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree Master of Arts University of Nebraska at Omaha. Copyright Mary A. Burbach July, 1997