Type of Work

Research Paper

Publication Date

Winter 2-16-2021


Over the past year, the COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly informed the way that people conduct their lives. Kitchen tables and spare bedrooms have been turned into office spaces and classrooms, trips to the grocery store have been replaced by curbside delivery services, and significant life events like weddings and graduations have been “attended” through computer screens. Mothers have been particularly impacted by the consequences of COVID-19: in addition to employment and caregiving responsibilities, they are more likely than fathers to oversee their children’s at-home education. Immersed in the world of “pandemic mothering,” this research draws on responses from middle-class and working-class mothers to the question “How has the pandemic affected you?” The answers these women provide shed light on the way in which social class influences the life experiences of modern American individuals. Working-class mothers are more likely to be part of “essential worker” households and express concern about their families’ financial situations, while middle-class mothers tend to define themselves and their family members as “very social people” and describe their inability to socialize regularly due to COVID-19 restrictions. Although more research is needed to fully understand class differences in perceptions of the pandemic, this study reveals how class inequality is reproduced, a process that has only been exacerbated by COVID-19.

Hamilton Areas of Study


Hamilton Sponsoring Organization

Levitt Public Affairs Center

Hamilton Scholarship Series

Levitt Winter Research Group Grant

Hamilton Faculty Advisor

Mahala Stewart