Though the negative effects of social exclusion are well documented, there is a paucity of research on women's experiences of social exclusion as they relate to mothering within the institution of motherhood. Social exclusion is a socially constructed concept; it refers to a multi-dimensional form of systematic discrimination driven by unequal power relationships. It is the denial of equal opportunities, resources, rights, goods, and services for some, by others, within economic, social, cultural, and political arenas. Carrying, birthing, and mothering children place women in a unique position to face social exclusion based on their role as mothers. Perhaps at no other time in our lives could we benefit more from feeling as though we are engaged in our community than when we enter into and are experiencing the patriarchal institution of motherhood. As the widely used proverb states, It takes a village to raise a child , it also takes a village (of societal institutions) to support mothers. This collection explores motherhood in the context of social exclusion. The book is divided into four parts, each exploring the topic from a different perspective: A Historical Look at Motherhood; Mothers and Crime; Disability, Care Work, and Motherhood; and Personal Narratives.