Feminist Mothering and the Needs-Focus Approach of Writing Centers: A Literature Review
Within academia, English fields have developed a reputation for being less professional or academically rigid compared to STEM. This undervaluation of English studies, particularly Writing Center work, poses many issues to the people who pursue these careers, specifically harming the women who decide to take these jobs. Typically, English fields are viewed as being nurturing and caring in a way that is deemed less respectable and coddling towards students. Thus, spaces like Writing Centers are branded as “domestic spaces” housing undesirable, feminine traits. As a result of these negative attitudes, this “women’s work” is judged as poorer in quality. According to statistics from 2022, 67.3% of Writing Center tutors are women (“Writing Center”, 2022), follwing the trend of a majority of English studies members also being female (Kugler, et al., 2021). Thus, these negative attitudes can cause issues to the women involved in this field. However, Writing Center research challenges these perceptions through theories such as feminist mothering. Rather than dismissing the feminine qualities of Writing Center work, we should strive to show the value of nurturing and caring for students in an academic setting in a manner that benefits everyone involved.
Wohlwend, Sophia, "Feminist Mothering and the Needs-Focus Approach of Writing Centers: A Literature Review" (2023). Celebration of Scholarship 2023. 1.