Material Challenges to Mothering During Incarceration

Author(s): April Kamp-Whittaker; Dana O. Shew

Year: 2020


This is an abstract from the session entitled "Women’s Work: Archaeology and Mothering" , at the 2020 annual meeting of the Society for Historical Archaeology.

Japanese American internees during WWII faced many challenges to the practices of mothering. Confinement in government run incarceration centers limited access to familiar resources, tools, materials, and activities while individual backgrounds created divergent ideologies surrounding appropriate strategies for child rearing. Archaeological and oral historical data from Amache, a Japanese American incarceration center in Southeastern Colorado, are used to explore how internees navigated the practice of mothering in a situation of confinement and overt racism. Incarceration limited individual’s agency by constraining their actions and ability to select the location for activities while also reducing access to material objects. Separation of families and an atmosphere of prejudice changed the relationship between parents and children, altering strategies of mothering.

Cite this Record

Material Challenges to Mothering During Incarceration. April Kamp-Whittaker, Dana O. Shew. 2020 ( tDAR id: 457599)

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Temporal Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 641