Article

The radical act of 'mommy blogging': Redefining motherhood through the blogosphere

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Abstract

This article provides an alternative to the masculine construction of the blogosphere by analyzing 'mommy bloggers' through the lenses of feminism and autobiography. It uses the event of the 2005 BlogHer conference as a starting point for a discussion about the mommy blogger phenomenon, wherein a constellation of ensuing conversations challenge the use of the title 'mommy blogger' and the activities that are encompassed by it. In qualitatively examining the form and content of mommy blogs, this article ultimately argues for their potential to build communities and to challenge dominant representations of motherhood within our society.

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... Although is it known that (new) mothers and primigravida actively use social media and interact with mommy influencers (Johnson, 2015), a double feeling seems to arise when discussing the helpfulness of this content for the transition into motherhood. On one hand, mommy blogger content is oftentimes seen as a counter-reaction toward the traditional representation of the perfect motherhood in mainstream media, helping mothers developing more realistic and attainable ideas (Hopper, 2014;Hunter, 2016;Lopez, 2009). On the other hand, realizations are growing that the myth of perfect motherhood and the homogeneous representation of it seems to retain in the online environment (Lopez, 2009;Orton-Johnson, 2017;Zappavigna, 2016). ...
... On one hand, mommy blogger content is oftentimes seen as a counter-reaction toward the traditional representation of the perfect motherhood in mainstream media, helping mothers developing more realistic and attainable ideas (Hopper, 2014;Hunter, 2016;Lopez, 2009). On the other hand, realizations are growing that the myth of perfect motherhood and the homogeneous representation of it seems to retain in the online environment (Lopez, 2009;Orton-Johnson, 2017;Zappavigna, 2016). Findings from studies investigating the impact of online mommy content on mothers' feelings and relationships with the children are also mixed. ...
... Today mommy influencers are mostly active on YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok (Hudders et al., 2020;Moujaes and Verrier, 2021). Most mommy influencers post about everyday experiences with the children, but there are also mommy influencers that become known for content on specific topics such as difficult pregnancy or premature babies (Lopez, 2009). ...
Article
Questions are raised about the potential effects of (future) mothers’ regular exposure to the perfect representations of motherhood by mommy influencers. Due to the regular exposure, mothers might see these images as the norm but are not always able to meet with these standards themselves. Based on a survey among mothers and primigravida this study analyzed the association between visiting mommy influencer profiles on Instagram, comparing oneself with these online mothers and perceived parental self-efficacy. For mothers, it was found that both exposure to the content and comparison with the mommy influencers were related to lower perceived parental self-efficacy. For primigravida, the direction of the relationship was different: Regular exposure to mommy influencer content was related to higher parental self-efficacy, meaning that this exposure was helpful. The implications of this study for (future) mothers, mommy influencers, and practitioners who guide mothers through the transition to motherhood will be discussed.
... Koeber'in yanı sıra, ebeveynlik rollerine dair içerik sunan web sitelerindeki tartışma ortamlarının feminizmin sesinin yükseltilmesi açısından önem taşıdığını ve kadınların bu ortamlar aracılığıyla fikir alışverişinde bulunarak annelik rolünün gereklerine ilişkin sorgulamayı başlatabileceklerini vurgulayan başka araştırmacılardan da bahsetmek mümkündür (Lopez, 2009;Pedersen ve Smithson, 2013 (2005), "BabyCenter" isimli web sitesi üzerinden gerçekleştirdiği araştırmasında, ebeveynlere yönelik içeriklerin toplumsal cinsiyet rollerini yansıttığını; çocuk bakımıyla ilgili içeriklerin daha çok annelere hitaben aktarıldığını ortaya koymuştur. Benzer biçimde, Türkiye'de, Gül-Ünlü (2019) tarafından Bebek.com ...
... Tabii bu aşamada annelik rolünü üstlenmiş kadınların bloglarda kendilerini nasıl kimlik üzerinden konumlandırmayı tercih ettikleri de ayrı bir tartışma konusu olarak karşımıza çıkmaktadır. Bu çerçevede çok sayıda araştırmacının (Chen, 2013;Lopez, 2009;Powell, 2010;Ratliff, 2009), annelik bloglarının, geleneksel medyada yer aldığının tersine, 'iyi anne' ideolojisini aktif bir biçimde reddettiğinin altını çizdikleri görülmektedir. Öyle ki Ratliff (2009) tarafından gerçekleştirilen araştırmada, infertilite blogları aracılığıyla kadınlar tarafından gösterilen tepkinin ve geleneksel medyaya taşınan bir kamusal tartışmanın yasal düzenlemeler üzerinde etkili olabilecek kadar kamuoyunun gündemine taşınabileceğinin altı çizilmektedir 9 . ...
... Yani blog yazarlarının kendi geleneksel olmayan annelik rollerini blog içerikleri aracılığıyla okuyucularıyla paylaşması hem okuyucuların alternatif bir annelik modelleri hakkındaki içeriklere erişmesini sağlamakta hem de başlı başına bir feminist duruşu temsil etmektedir. Dolayısıyla annelik bloğu yazarı kadınların, geleneksel annelik temsiline meydan okumaları, bu temsili yeniden yorumlayarak okuyucuların kişisel alanlarında deneyimledikleri annelik rolüne bir ses kazandırmalarını sağlamakta ve anneliğe ait pratikler hakkındaki anlatılar üzerinden anne kimliklerinin daha nüanslı ifadelerini mümkün kılmaktadır (Friedman, 2013;Lopez, 2009;Orton-Johnson, 2017). Bu bakımdan değerlendirildiğinde Orton-Johnson'un (2017, s. 1) da vurguladığı gibi, annelik bloglarını "ana akım medya anlatılarını demokratikleştirme potansiyeline sahip güçlü araçlar" olarak konumlandırmak mümkündür. ...
Article
Kadınların annelik rollerine dair ihtiyaçları doğrultusunda dijital iletişim ortamlarında yer almaya başlamaları, toplumsal yapı tarafından içeriği belirlenmiş annelik rolü gerekliliklerinin yerine nasıl getirileceğine ilişkin içerik üretimini beraberinde getirmiş, böylelikle annelik inşası dijital ortama taşınmıştır. Kadınların dijital iletişim ortamlarında annelik pratikleri hakkında içerik üretip, tüketmeye başlamaları, bu dijital tartışma ortamlarını uygun annelik rolüne ilişkin önerilerin yer aldığı birer annelik modeli sunumuna dönüştürmüş ve kadınların benimseyebileceği örnek annelik uygulamaları hakkında tavsiyeler sunan yeni alanlar ortaya çıkmıştır. Bu odak noktasından yola çıkan çalışmada, annelik rol gerekliliklerine dair üretilen dijital içeriğin annelik inşasının tartışmaya açılması sürecinde nasıl bir rol oynayabileceğinin değerlendirilmesi hedeflenmektedir. Bu hedefe uygun olarak, gerçekleştirilen literatür çalışması içerisinde, dijital annelere yönelik web siteleri ve blog içeriklerinin kadınların feminist sesinin duyurulmasında nasıl bir potansiyele sahip olabileceği ele alınmaktadır.
... Blogging was initially conceived of as a 'radical act' (Lopez 2009) in which mothers could dispel the myth of intensive or ideal mothering by sharing honest accounts of the trials and tribulations of being a mother that had not previously been made public. The term, 'mommy blogger' emerged to demonstrate the resistive power of women to challenge patriarchal assumptions about mothering and to stake a place in the blogosphere. ...
... transformed by, the media' and designers have become dependent on digital media to diffuse their collections(Rocamora 2017, p. 510).Rocomora's (2017) work also extended to a brief analysis at the micro-level by considering how consumers style themselves with a 'camera-ready' attitude, offering insights about how fashion is mediatised at the point of production and consumption. Her findings illustrate how fashion consumers are adapting to the algorithmic logics of social media sites(Andersen 2018), curating a version of themselves based on what they perceive a mother should be(Archer and Kao 2018;Lopez 2009;Orton-Johnson 2017). ...
... A second body of feminist communication research related to mothers' use of digital media concerns their interactions with social networking and social media sites. A large body of work has examined how these platforms help mothers to create, inform and learn from others, and to renegotiate motherhood identities and ideologies(Abetz & Moore 2019;Anderson & Grace 2015;Kang 2012;Lopez 2009). In an early study about the emerging and disruptive potential of blogging for mothers,Lopez (2009, p. 744) wrote: ...
Thesis
Mothers are both users of digital media and facilitators of children’s use, yet little research has explored how these intersecting points of digital interaction shape their mothering experience. This thesis explored how the growing importance placed on digital media use for everyday societal functions impacts the role and experience of mothering in the home. Qualitative interviews with mothers revealed that changes in the digital learning practices of schools, and the need to maintain a digital umbilical cord with children, increased ownership and use of digital devices in the home. Time-poverty was alleviated and exacerbated by mother’s own use of digital media and intensified by the need to manage children’s use. The study concludes that contemporary mothering manifests as digital mothering, a state that is experienced and interceded through complex interactions with digital media in the home.
... This rise of social media influencers has allowed for a variety of different types of influencers to emerge, including the motherhood bloggers and motherhood influencers who write about their experiences and beliefs pertaining to motherhood. A popular motherhood blog can experience around 50,000 visits per day (Lopez, 2009). Many motherhood bloggers and influencers are new mothers (Thompson, 2007). ...
... Many motherhood bloggers and influencers are new mothers (Thompson, 2007). These motherhood bloggers often gain their popularity through chronicling their pregnancy and experience with new motherhood (Lopez, 2009). ...
... However, researchers argue that showing a more "realistic" image of motherhood online is a feminist and empowering act because women are fighting back against the ideal that mothers must be perfect parents and perfect people (Chen, 2013). When motherhood bloggers or influencers share their "realistic" unedited version of motherhood, they are showing that it is okay to have weakness and share their struggles (Chen, 2013;Lopez, 2009). The "realistic" motherhood blogger will be elaborated upon in the following sections. ...
Article
Full-text available
The prominence of social media in contemporary life has led more mothers to search for parenting information through various Internet and social media channels. The following study examines the impact that Instagram mommy blog content has on the perceived parenting skill of the typical American mother. In this experiment, participants were exposed to one of two types of Instagram motherhood blogger content. The first type of content did not address the struggles of motherhood (referred to as an “alpha-mom” blogger content), while the second type of content (referred to as a “realistic” blogger content) did. After reviewing the content, participants will be asked a series of Likert-type scale questions to gauge their perceived parenting skill. We hypothesized that participants who were exposed to the “alpha-mom” content would have a lower belief in their own parenting skill than those who were exposed to content from the “realistic” blogger. The hypothesis was not supported. However, we did find that participants who received some of their parenting information from Internet sources had a lower belief in their parenting skill than participants who did not receive their parenting information from online sources, regardless of the content to which they were exposed.
... Sharenting has been reported to offer benefits for parents such as the opportunity to develop parental identity, to maintain social and extended family relations, to exchange support, information and guidance, to curate memories, to debate parenting experience in public domain (i.e. post-birth depression, breastfeeding, pregnancy) and to advocate for children (Borda, 2015;Locatelli, 2017;Lopez, 2009;Tiidenberg and Baym, 2017). ...
... This study revealed how influencers and their families publicly negotiate privacy and intimacy in the face of their social media visibility, how being a mummy influencer is a consequence of, or a way to deal with, wider welfare, job or housing conditions in the post-austerity period, and the types of parenting that they promote or struggle to attain. By focusing on their personal experiences, Portuguese mummy influencers voice their visions of what they think is better for children's development, for women and the family, foster debate with their followers and serve as semi-lay, semi-professional spokespeople in mainstream media for subjects relating to parenting (Borda, 2015;Locatelli, 2017;Lopez, 2009;Tiidenberg and Baym, 2017;Wilson and Yochim, 2017). As influencers, while they attract a community of followers, with whom they learn, they stand as central examples -as brands -in those communities. ...
Article
Sharenting (sharing parenting on social media) has become a widespread activity, and some of those parents become family influencers. Female influencers have been on the rise, partly as an alternative to the precariousness of the job market. This article presents a qualitative study on 11 Portuguese mummy and family influencers, analysing social media content observed throughout 2,5 years, as well as media discourses on them. It focuses on how these female content creators portray parenting and family, work-life balance as an influencer, and their boundaries for privacy and intimacy. It demonstrates how prominent mummy influencers reproduce a neoliberal ethos which favors an individual management of conciliating motherhood and a career in the context of post-austerity and precarity, through an emotional discourse that promotes relatability with the audience, converted into an essentially consumerist agenda.
... It has been suggested that "mommy blogs provide mothers with opportunities to challenge intensive mothering" (Huisman & Joy, 2014, p.102), and even redefine motherhood (Lopez, 2009). However, little evidence supports this view. ...
... In studying the most popular blogs in France we were able to find consistent evidence of IM, which indicates that this ideology holds a hegemonic position. According to some researchers, the blogosphere offers room for challenging the dominant representations of mothering (Huisman & Joy, 2014;Lopez, 2009). There is indeed a possibility that mother blogs other than those analyzed in the present study offer such alternative visions. ...
Article
Full-text available
Intensive mothering is a cultural model of appropriate childrearing according to which mothers should unselfishly make a tremendous investment in their child. Using a mixed methodology, we examined the relevance of this ideology to understand the persistence of gender inequality. A content analysis of the most popular French mommy blogs indicates that this ideology remains commonplace, and has even incorporated contemporary concerns regarding sustainable development. Besides the expected themes of the sacredness of the child, the primary responsibility of the mother, and the use of intensive methods for all aspects of childrearing, the analysis of blog posts highlights new themes, including the sacredness of home, need for balance, and the praise of fathers. Furthermore, mommy blogs, as public online diaries involving everyday experience, prompt mothers to confess their failure to comply with intensive mothering demands and, at the same time, to reaffirm their commitment to its principles. Social influence is evidenced by the comments in response to the posts, which demonstrate polarization toward intensive mothering among the readers. A survey study further demonstrates that this ideology is positively related to a series of gender hierarchy-enhancing beliefs and attitudes. As a whole, the present research indicates that intensive mothering should be considered a system justifying ideology, while mommy blogs provide a platform for its diffusion and strengthening.
... Die überwiegende Zahl der Familienblogs wird von Müttern betrieben, weshalb in den USA die Bezeichnung "Mommy-Blogs" üblich geworden ist. Im öffentlichen Diskurs wird jedoch der verniedlichende Charakter dieses Terminus aus feministischer Perspektive kritisiert (Chen, 2013), da gerade die Blogs der Mütter als Ausdruck einer emanzipatorisch verstandenen Befreiung aus alten Rollenmustern gesehen werden (Lopez, 2009;Webb & Lee, 2011). ...
... B. mehrsprachige Familien (Bello-Rodzen, 2016), Familien in der Gründungsphase rund um Schwangerschaft und Geburt (Sohr-Preston, Lacour, Brent, Dugas, & Jordan, 2016) oder lesbische Elternpaare (Hunter, 2015). Als ein durchgängiges Motiv in der bislang vorliegenden Forschung zu Familienblogs erweist sich das Suchen und Finden einer Gemeinschaft Gleichgesinnter und das Erleben von Verbundenheit und Solidarität (Gurak & Antonijevic, 2008;Hunter, 2015;Lopez, 2009;Pettigrew, Archer, & Harrigan, 2016;Webb & Lee, 2011). Anhand von Netzwerkanalysen konnte Stansberry (2011) empirisch zeigen, wie stark amerikanische Mütterblogs miteinander verwoben sind. ...
Technical Report
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Die Corona-Krise hat die zunehmende Bedeutung der Blogs als digitale Kommunikations- und Interaktionsform sichtbar gemacht. Blogs dienen Familien als internetbasierte Form des Austauschs von Erfahrungen und als Darstellungsform ihres Selbstverständnisses von Familie. In der Corona-Ausnahmezeit sind sie wichtige Plattformen des Austauschs und der Solidarisierung von Familien geworden, die ihre unterschiedlichen Perspektiven und Bedürfnisse in den digitalen Diskursen von Eltern zum Ausdruck bringen. Vor allem der Mittelschicht dienen die Blogs als Ausdruck eines veränderten Anspruchs an sich selbst, an das Kind und an den Beruf. Es sind Symptome eines strukturellen gesellschaftlichen Wandels, der bereits vor der Coronakrise erkennbar war und sich besonders deutlich in veränderten Ansprüchen an Erziehung, Beruf und dem Neuverhandeln der Mutterrolle vollzieht. Dieser Prozess spiegelt sich in den Familienblogs wider und wird nach der Corona-Krise nichts an Bedeutung verlieren.
... Por otra parte, Sarkadi y Bremberg (2005) identifican en el mayor sitio web de crianza sueco Föräldranätet (en español: la red de los padres), que Internet se constituye en una herramienta útil y accesible en la provisión de apoyo en la crianza y la principal fuente de información ante problemáticas parentales, por encima de los consejos de expertos. Lopez (2009), en Estados Unidos, explora las madres que bloguean sobre sus hijas e hijos y cómo expanden desde la esfera pública la noción de maternidad para visibilizar sus versiones multifacéticas. A su vez, advierte que estas comunidades crecen en torno a problemas colectivos más allá de la crianza y los cuidados, desde sus propias voces, al margen de lo estipulado por expertos e instituciones. ...
... Igualmente, los paradigmas imperantes de producción de conocimiento en los que las experiencias de concepción, reproducción y maternidad son de dominio de los saberes expertos, especialmente masculinos, son confrontados y apropiados por mujeres a través de sus saberes experienciales y los escenarios digitales, al margen de las figuras tradicionales de autoridad. Por otra parte, se encontró que recién otros usos de Internet cobran relevancia como la conciliación laboral, la inserción en la sociedad de consumo y el activismo social, este último ya advertido por Lopez (2009). Igualmente, ante mayor comprensión de las potencialidades y los riesgos de Internet, ha cobrado importancia cuestiones como el manejo de la privacidad por parte de madres y padres. ...
Article
Full-text available
Introducción. Internet ha logrado imbricarse de manera vertiginosa e insospechada en todas las esferas de la vida cotidiana; las formas de ser y ejercer como madres y padres en la contemporaneidad no han quedado al margen de estos avatares. Las tecnologías digitales adquieren un lugar protagónico en la forma como mujeres y hombres configuran y agencian sus parentalidades, incidiendo en sus significados, saberes, sentires y prácticas. Método. Este estudio realizó una revisión sistemática de la producción científica que explora las trayectorias y las transformaciones de las subjetividades parentales que se despliegan a partir de mediaciones digitales en la contemporaneidad durante los años 2010-2020. Se realizó una búsqueda en tres bases de datos: Scopus, EBSCOhost y ScienceDirect, recuperando, una vez aplicados los criterios de inclusión y exclusión, un total de 55 artículos. Resultados. Se encontraron tres líneas principales de estudio sobre el tema: (1) Pesquisas parentales, en el que las madres, y más recientemente, los padres, se sirven de las mediaciones digitales para la gestión instrumental, simbólica y emocional de sus parentalidades, especialmente en momentos de transición, crisis y situaciones adversas. (2) Disputas discursivas de las parentalidades hegemónicas, donde las prácticas maternas y paternas, reservadas tradicionalmente a la esfera privada, se hacen públicas a través de lo digital para su significación, debate y renegociación. (3) Emergencias en los usos y apropiaciones parentales, que remite a los mayores usos de Internet en madres y padres en torno a la sociedad de consumo, la conciliación laboral, las preocupaciones por la privacidad y el activismo social. Discusión y conclusiones. Las interacciones facilitadas por Internet permiten la comprensión de fenómenos culturales y sociales más amplios que permean las subjetividades parentales, las cuales requieren seguir investigándose en sus diferentes aristas y posibilidades. Asimismo, es importante que se incorporen estas lecturas a los abordajes y las intervenciones profesionales que buscan transformaciones sociales.
... Although the term social media influencer is popular in practice, academic definitions are rather scarce. One important group of bloggers who have gained ascendancy and influence is the mum or mummy/mommy bloggers (Burns, 2016;Lopez, 2009;). Lopez (2009) suggested that "for the most part, women categorized as 'mommy bloggers' are simply women who are mothers and occasionally write about their children. ...
... The present study aims at the qualitative analysis of studying the phenomenon called 'mommy blogging' in the Indian context. The researchers from overseas have widely studied various facets of mommy bloggers in the past and contributed to the literature (Burns, 2016;Lopez, 2009;Stansberry, 2015;Cann, Dimitriou and Hooley, 2011;). In India, a large number of moms have smartphones and actively spend more than 2 hours daily on social media platforms like Facebook and Whatsapp (Sinha, 2018). ...
Conference Paper
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This study provides an insight into major transformation from the masculine community to the feminist community where the domain of entrepreneurship has taken a drastic turn. The increased use of social media all over the world gave an edge to the online communities to create different segments of the market and motivated women who struggled for their identity and community support came forward after her postpartum depression. This study has structured reviews based on past literature. The current study has taken 60 research papers wherein 14 were the articles. By using an integrative approach under qualitative study, the researcher has analyzed the reviews and concluded that there are factors like identity, establishing a relationship, inspire other mothers with the help of content and to seek community support are the imperative parameters that transformed mothers into mompreneurs. Also, influencers like mompreneurs and mommy bloggers have become the market opportunity for the marketers which have been explored by the marketers very well.
... Instead, mommy blogging allowed women to reveal a more realistic experience of mothering because they felt constrained by the stereotypical role. Lopez (2009) called this the "ugly side of motherhood" (p. 744), where women complained about the emotional and physical tolls of tending to young children and how it made them circumvent their own needs (Chen, 2013). ...
... So women found blogs as a way to give voice to their concerns and to thwart the limited concept of what a woman or a mother should be. They used their blogs to expand the discourse on politics issues, such as gender discrimination in the workplace or the lack of resources for childcare, within a contained community that understood them and heard their pleas (Lopez, 2009). Interrelated psychological needs for self-disclosure and affiliation drive women to blog (Chen, 2012), and the blogging experience meets these needs in ways that differ from other communication experiences. ...
Article
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Women's blogs are a potent subset of the phenomenon of blogging, defined as relatively short online posts written in reverse chronological order. Women's blogs include subgenres, such as mommy blogs and feminist blogs, and are generally focused on the lived experiences of women, their personal narratives, and their struggles for identity in today's fast‐paced world. They offer women a sense of empowerment as they connect with other women by sharing personal stories and vulnerabilities. Thus, women's blogs differ from the male‐dominated filter blogs, which aim to filter web content by sharing links. Like many forms of communication that women favor, women's blogs have faced obstacles in achieving the same notoriety as men's blogs. They are often viewed as less valuable or credible than men's blogs, illustrating the way communication that women value is often seen as less important in society as a whole. In addition, women's blogs have drawn the same type of gendered harassment that women experience on social media, in online comment streams, or offline. As a result, women's blogs offer an important vehicle for female voice on the internet, but they also demonstrate the way societal norms attempt to silence that voice.
... 2018;Djafarova ve Trafimenko, 2017;Doub vd. 2016;Gürçayır-Teke, 2014;Kaya, 2018;Lopez, 2009;Masullo-Chen, 2013). Anneler özellikle sosyal medyayı kullanarak kısa sürede çocuklara yönelik bilgiler almakta, deneyimli annelerle bir araya gelerek öğrenmekte ya da kendi deneyimlerini paylaşabilmektedir (Masullo-Chen, 2013). ...
... Jang and Dworkin, 2014), yet digital environments such as blogs or discussion fora have opened up spaces for parents to negotiate, re-negotiate or even subvert notions of parenthood/motherhood under new, different or unexpected circumstances (e.g. Lopez, 2009;Pedersen and Smithson, 2013;Orton-Johnson, 2017;Jaworska, 2018;MacKenzie, 2018). Mumsnet, from which we sourced the data, is the largest parenting website in the UK and a unique source of PND stories (Jaworska, 2018;Kinloch and Jaworska, 2020). ...
Article
Full-text available
This paper looks at the intersection between motherhood and online illness narratives, examining the ways in which women conceptualise their maternal bodies in the context of postnatal depression. Specifically, we examine how discourses of motherhood in distress are positioned in relation to societal norms and expectations, and the othering of the ‘imbalanced’ maternal body. To do so, we apply corpus assisted discourse analysis to posts made in the Mumsnet Talk forum, which specifically discuss postnatal depression. Our findings highlight the discursive strategies employed to represent embodied experiences of a stigmatised condition in an online forum. We focus particularly on the use of embodied explanatory models for mental ill health in mothers to mitigate the stigma attached to the condition. Our study also shows how the embodied lived experience continually interacts with states of mind when making sense of PND and in doing so, transgresses the boundaries set by the body/mind dualism, which prevails in modern medicine.
... Research showing how mothers use digital technologies to collate, evaluate and negotiate experiential and professional parent-related knowledge also has important implications for health professionals (Hine, 2014;Holland, 2019;Papen, 2013;Song et al., 2012;Strekalova, 2016). Studies that examine women's use of digital technologies and sites to mediate debate and discussion around the construction and representation of motherhood have also shed light on contemporary concepts of motherhood itself, including maternal identities, practices and communities (Lopez, 2009;Moore & Abetz, 2019;Orton-Johnson, 2017;Pedersen, 2016;Tiidenberg & Baym, 2017). ...
Article
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This article collection is a response to the rapid acceleration of research interest in 'motherhood online', defined here as a field concerned with the production and reception of digital media that is produced by mothers and/or about motherhood, and is related to issues of maternal identities, communities or practices. It contributes to this field of study by presenting a selection of six articles that examine these concerns from a discourse analytical perspective. These articles explore a range of socio-maternal practices such as experiential knowledge-sharing (Lyons) and infant feeding (Coffey-Glover), and experiences such as maternal regret (Matley) and postnatal depression (Kinloch & Jaworska). They examine contemporary concepts of motherhood and mothering practice as they intersect with domains such as religion (Ringrow), healthcare (Coffey-Glover; Kinloch & Jaworska) and gendered (in)equalities (Lazar & Ke). Further, the articles consider the opportunities and challenges that arise when individuals navigate these issues in a range of online contexts, from now well-established sites such as blogs (Coffey-Glover; Ringrow) and online forums (Kinloch & Jaworska; Matley), to newer forms of digital media including messaging apps (Lyons) and video-sharing platforms (Lazar & Ke). In this introduction, we summarise some key themes of motherhood online research to date, outline the rationale for a discourse analytical perspective in this field, and locate this article collection within a broader interdisciplinary context.
... [42][43][44] These platforms have been reported as being helpful and reassuring by alleviating mothers' feelings of social isolation, uncertainty and a heightened sense of responsibility, 44 as well as influencing mothers' views of parenting and giving voice to their experiences and anxieties. 45,46 These platforms provide women with an opportunity to establish, and maintain, social connections and intimate relationships with other mothers who may be experiencing the same challenges and to engage in collaborative environments that influence the social constructions of motherhood. 42 Within the analysed Instagram posts, wine was used as a way to connect with like-minded women to generate a sense of being in this together and of bonding over wine. ...
Article
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Popular culture has recently seen the emergence of the so-called comical wine mom persona, particularly on social media sites such as Instagram. Given the increasing use of alcohol amongst women, and the emergence of alcohol as a tool for women and mothers to assert agency and gender equity, a critical analysis of wine mom culture warrants attention. Forty Instagram posts associated with the #winemom hashtag were selected using theoretical sampling and analyzed using reflexive thematic analysis. The central objective was to use a postfeminist lens to critically explore how wine mom culture is part of the consumption, (re)production, and (re)configuration of the ideologies of ‘good’ and ‘bad’ motherhood occurring in online gendered spaces. The findings demonstrated the ubiquity of wine mom culture and its contribution to normalized images and meanings of ‘liberated motherhood’ that may have problematic sociocultural and health implications related to women’s alcohol consumption.
... Originating from ostensibly do-it-yourself (DIY) media practices in the mid-late 2000s, influencer economies have gradually formalized. Proto-influencer practices included mum bloggers founding advertising networks (Lopez, 2009), strategically using hyperlinks to build communities of cross-promotion and commercial engagement (Rocamora, 2012), and fashion bloggers attending runway shows to lend "hipster credibility" to high-fashion houses (Pham, 2011, p. 12), Those previously identified as bloggers supplement or supplant blog content with Instagram, the channel for the commodified everyday in fashion and beauty verticals (Hund & McGuigan, 2019). The wider influencer ecology also includes beauty YouTubers, who integrate product placement into cosmetic reviews (Hund, 2017;Jerslev, 2016) and now TikTokers, who are are the latest platform-dependent creators to ink deals with brands such as Proctor and Gamble Indeed (Stein, 2020). ...
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This article explores algorithmic influencer management tools, designed to support marketers in selecting influencers for advertising campaigns, based on categorizations such as brand suitability, “brand friendliness,” and “brand risk.” I argue that, by approximating these values, tools reify existing social inequalities in influencer industries, particularly along the lines of sexuality, class, and race. They also deepen surveillance of influencer content by brand stakeholders, who are concerned that influencers will err and be “cancelled” (risking their investments in content). My critical framework synthesizes feminist critiques of ostensibly participatory influencer industries with close attention to critical algorithmic studies. This article provides an in-depth look at how brand risk and brand safety are predicted and measured using one tool, Peg. Through a “walk through” of this tool, underpinned by a wider industry ethnography, I demonstrate how value-laded algorithmic judgments map onto well-worn hierarchies of desirability and employability that originate from systemic bias along the lines of class, race, and gender.
... As several scholars pointed out, one of the difficulties perceived while blogging is the need for the fragmentation of the complex lived experience into a simple, coherent narrative (see e.g. Attewell, 2012;Lopez, 2009). M. herself, for example, realized that she sought to project an impression that she was safe and well, growing and developing, while also maintaining a good sense of humour and having fun. ...
Article
In the early 21st century, blogs exploded onto the digital media scene and soon became a popular means of travel writing. However, rather than considering blogs as a straightforward tool to simply share stories and experiences, in this article, we set out to explore the role of blogs as a mediating technology (Verbeek, 2005a), especially during difficult times abroad. By analysing the blogs of expatriate Australians who were volunteers in Bangladesh in 2014/2015 as well as interviews with the bloggers, we are able to show how the blogs' affordances inform the coping process, highlighted, in particular, in an active and highly reflective engagement with the blog's unique situatedness at the cusp of the public/private. In this way we wish to contribute to a better understanding of the ways in which “trusting oneself” to this specific communication technology (Kiran and Verbeek, 2010) is being experienced and facilitates sense-making in complex, and often stressful, human-world-technology relations. Foregrounding the ways in which blogs actively mediate and thus contribute to representations of the world, this article resonates with recent work on “earth writing” as a geographical practice (Springer, 2017; Wylie, 2018), and hopes to open up further debates on digital earth writing.
... Sosyal medyada yer alan internet anneleri, orada tüm deneyimlerini biriktirmekte ve daha sonra toplu olarak paylaşmaktadırlar. "Akademisyenler ve aktivistler için bu toplu paylaşımlar ikinci dalga feminizm gibi, sistematik modellerin eşitsizliğini ortaya çıkarma ve sosyal kıvılcım yaratma umudu taşımaktadır" (Lopez, 2009). Bloglar, sanal günlük olarak da adlandırılmaktadır. ...
... This online community often self-identifies as "mommy bloggers" who write "mommy blogs" focusing on topics related to motherhood [29][30][31][32]. Their blogs have been described as a form of community activism [33,34]. Mothers (their readers) report accessing such blogs for both parenting and health-related advice, viewing mommy bloggers as a trusted source in their network [35,36]. ...
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Background: Mothers and daughters struggle to talk about breast cancer risk. Even less attention is paid to environmental determinants of cancer. Third-party online approaches can be helpful navigating these conversations. The aim of this study was to obtain feedback from mothers exposed to a social media intervention (“mommy bloggers”) and identify their preferences for message-design approaches that could help them talk to their daughter(s) about environmental breast cancer risk. Methods: We conducted semi-structured interviews with 50 mothers. A thematic analysis was conducted using the constant comparative method. Results: Mothers identified four approaches to message design that could help facilitate mother–daughter communication about environmental breast cancer risk. These included two action-oriented approaches that centered on getting the conversation started and keeping the conversation going and two approaches based on lifespan factors to promote daughters’ engagement by using age-appropriate language and visuals and focusing on developmentally specific lifestyle behaviors. Mothers also provided recommended strategies within each approach. Conclusions: Mothers identified various approaches interventionists can utilize to overcome barriers to talking to daughters about environmental breast cancer risk. To promote mother–daughter communication, the messages should be action-oriented to facilitate interaction, but also developed with lifespan and developmental considerations in mind to engage daughters.
... But while governments have traditionally enjoyed a central and powerful place in social and information networks-they have been comparatively well-placed to wield the tool of information-this is not strictly the case in a digital context (Clarke 2019;Mayo and Steinberg 2007). Instead, citizen and non-government organization-led online forums have in certain cases emerged as prominent sources of information and centres for discussion amongst citizens (Lopez 2009;Mayo and Steinberg 2007). ...
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en As digital era open government initiatives are deployed globally, researchers are debating their effects on democratic governance. We develop a framework to evaluate whether these initiatives improve or undermine democratic governance and apply it to the case of Government of Canada Wikipedia editing and an automated Twitter account (@gccaedits) tracking this activity. Through content analysis of edits and analysis of access to information requests we show that while most edits made are useful and non‐partisan, the response of news media and government managers ultimately renders the editing a threat to democratic governance. This complexity highlights the importance of assessing the merits of open government initiatives in their broader socio‐political context. The findings also suggest that more fundamental shifts in contemporary political, media and administrative cultures are necessary before the potential benefits of open government reforms can materialize. Sommaire fr Alors que les initiatives de transparence gouvernementale à l’ère numérique se déploient à l’échelle mondiale, les chercheurs discutent de leurs incidences sur la gouvernance démocratique. Nous établissons un cadre afin d’évaluer si ces initiatives améliorent ou, au contraire, nuisent à la gouvernance démocratique, et l’appliquons au cas de révisions sur Wikipedia par le gouvernement du Canada, ainsi qu’au compte Twitter automatisé (@gccaedits) qui suit cette activité. Par le biais d’une analyse de contenu des révisions et de l’analyse des demandes d’accès à l’information, nous démontrons que malgré le fait que la plupart des révisions soient utiles et non partisanes, la réponse des médias d’information et des gestionnaires gouvernementaux font de ces révisions une menace pour la gouvernance démocratique. Cette situation complexe rehausse l’importance d’évaluer les avantages des initiatives de transparence gouvernementale dans un contexte sociopolitique plus large. En outre, nos résultats indiquent que des changements fondamentaux dans les cultures politique, médiatique et administrative contemporaines sont encore indispensables avant que les réformes visant la transparence du gouvernement puissent se matérialiser.
... And there's only about 30 or 40 of us and we are all in (our local region). (Jane, 40, blogging mother) It seems, therefore, as blogging became more and more mainstream and open to scrutiny, the original agents of the 'radical act' (Lopez 2009) of mum blogging sought refuge from the gaze of powerful institutions, including mainstream media, advertisers and potential employers, to enable mothers to speak plainly to each other about their experiences. Blogging had moved motherhood out of the private sphere, counteracting the individualisation and privatisation of motherhood, but in so doing had increased the potential for surveillance and backlash. ...
Article
Facebook groups are spaces where women form communities and share their lived experiences. These peer-created and peer-moderated groups have ‘closed’ security settings, indicating that interactions within the group are to be considered private. They attract membership from women who desire safe, ‘trusted’, gender-specific spaces, though as this article demonstrates, these perceived ‘safe spaces’ are often fraught with difficulties. This article considers Facebook groups as intimate spaces which traverse the public and private, potentially allowing women to remove the mask of motherhood and draw on ‘lay-expertise’ and support. Drawing on three studies of closed Facebook groups, for Australian ‘mum bloggers’ and readers, Australian Defence Force partners, and migrant mothers in Australia, this article considers women’s motivations for creating and participating in shielded online spaces, how expectations of privacy and safety in these spaces are created and maintained, and the consequences when these expectations are breached. Situating the groups in the context of societal surveillance of mothers, migrants and military families, and expectations of intensive social reproductive labour, the authors consider both the liberatory potential of the groups and their limitations as vehicles for social change.
... This panel was the result of a discussion during the previous conference, when mother-bloggers argued that they were marginalised in the women's blogosphere. This conversation started a discussion about the "mommy blog" phenomenon and the official introduction of the "mommy blog" as a genre in its own right (Lopez, 2009). Since then, researchers have explored how "mommy blogging" expresses and reinterprets different representations of motherhood. ...
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Blogs can be analysed as a tool for information, identity, and building and maintaining relationships. This study examines the phenomenon of "daddy blogs" and aims to identify the construction of masculinity and fatherhood in these blogs. The paper presents the results of qualitative research on the most popular parental blogs, written by men from Poland, the United Kingdom, and Turkey (three from each country). The study sample contains 90 blog posts, which have been analysed qualitatively using MAXQDA software. The study found three common patterns of constructing/express-ing manhood and fatherhood. Firstly, manhood and fatherhood are presented in the wider, social context. In the blog posts, the role of a father in society, as well as gender norms, are negotiated. Secondly , fatherhood is presented in relations with children and duties regarding bringing them up, with visible differences in the description of father-daughter and father-son relationships. The authors often write about health, children's development, psychology, bullying , and cyber-bullying, which can be understood as the motivation to share information rather than just express themselves. Lastly , manhood and fatherhood are presented from the perspective of an individual, which is mostly expressed in texts about self-development , happiness, and well-being. The most common motives Makale gönderilme tarihi: 10.04.2019 Makale kabul tarihi: 24.09.2019 112 İleti-ş-im 31 • aralık/december/décembre 2019 in these categories were: the role of a family and relationships in life, life-work balance, time management, and spending quality time with the family. These three perspectives complement each other, creating a complex construction of a man and a father, balancing between traditional and modern roles. Perspectives sur la paternité et la virilité: analyse narrative des «blogs paternels» Polonais, Turcs et Britanniques Résumé Les blogs peuvent être analysés comme un outil de création et de maintien de relations d'information et d'identité. Cette étude examine le phénomène des «blogs des pères» et vise à identifier la construction de la masculinité et de la pa-ternité présentées sur ces blogs. L'article présente les résultats des recherches qualitatives sur les blogs parentaux les plus populaires, rédigés par des hommes de Pologne, du Royaume-Uni et de la Turquie (trois de chaque pays). L'échan-tillon de l'étude contient 90 articles de blog analysés qualitativement à l'aide du logiciel MAXQDA. Trois modèles communs de construction et d'expression de la virilité et de la paternité ont été trouvés. Premièrement, la virilité et la paternité sont présentées dans un contexte social plus large. Dans les articles de blog, le rôle d'un père dans la société, ainsi que les normes de genre, sont négociés. Deuxièmement, la construction de la paternité est basée sur l'accomplissement de ses devoirs envers ses enfants, avec des différences visibles dans la description des relations père-fille et père-fils. Les auteurs écrivent souvent à propos de la santé, du développement des enfants, de la psychologie, de l'intimidation et du cyber intimidation, ce qui peut être compris comme une motivation pour partager des informations plutôt que de simplement s'exprimer. Enfin, la virilité et la paternité sont présentées du point de vue de l'individu qui est principale-ment exprimé dans des textes sur le développement personnel, le bonheur et le bien-être. Les motifs les plus fréquents dans ces catégories étaient les suivants: rôle de la famille et des relations dans la vie, équilibre de la vie personnelle et de la vie professionnelle, gestion du temps et passer du temps de qualité en fa-mille. Ces trois perspectives se complètent en équilibrant les rôles traditionnels et modernes, ainsi créent la construction complexe d'un homme et d'un père.
... This panel was the result of a discussion during the previous conference, when mother-bloggers argued that they were marginalised in the women's blogosphere. This conversation started a discussion about the "mommy blog" phenomenon and the official introduction of the "mommy blog" as a genre in its own right (Lopez, 2009). Since then, researchers have explored how "mommy blogging" expresses and reinterprets different representations of motherhood. ...
Article
Full-text available
Blogs can be analysed as a tool for information, identity, and building and maintaining relationships. This study examines the phenomenon of “daddy blogs” and aims to identify the construction of masculinity and fatherhood in these blogs. The paper presents the results of qualitative research on the most popular parental blogs, written by men from Poland, the United Kingdom, and Turkey (three from each country). The study sample contains 90 blog posts,which have been analysed qualitatively using MAXQDA software. The study found three common patterns of constructing/expressing manhood and fatherhood. Firstly, manhood and fatherhood are presented in the wider, social context. In the blog posts, the role of a father in society, as well as gender norms, are negotiated. Secondly, fatherhood is presented in relations with children and duties regarding bringing them up, with visible differences in the description of father-daughter and father-son relationships. The authors often write about health, children’s development, psychology, bullying, and cyber-bullying, which can be understood as the motivation to share information rather than just express themselves. Lastly, manhood and fatherhood are presented from the perspective of an individual, which is mostly expressed in texts about self-development, happiness, and well-being. The most common motives in these categories were: the role of a family and relationships in life, life-work balance, time management, and spending quality time with the family. These three perspectives complement each other, creating a complex construction of a man and a father, balancing between traditional and modern roles.
... There are several reasons why ordinary parents engage in sharenting: to receive affirmation, support, and advice about parenting challenges; to keep friends and family informed about their children; to collect memories; to show pride in their children; to self-present themselves as good parents; and to advocate for children (Borda, 2015;Lopez, 2009;Tiidenberg & Baym, 2017;Verswijvel et al., 2019). These motivations could be combined in different ways to make money for some parents engaging in sharenting laborthe sharing of parenting experiences for monetary gain (Jorge et al., 2021b;Campana et al., 2020). ...
Article
Sharenting, or the practice of sharing one’s parenting or information about one’s children on social media, occurs in an increasingly platformized digital culture, where visual formats are central across participatory and commercial repositories. This paper investigates the articulation between sharenting as performed by celebrities and the wider construction of children’s digital identities. Through qualitative content analysis, this research looks at how Cristiano Ronaldo, the most-followed individual on Instagram since 2018, his partner, and his mother shared information about his children on that social media platform between 2018 and 2020. Through manual exploration, we searched for Ronaldo’s children across a variety of digital spaces. Our analysis reveals that sharenting on Instagram engages audiences through the portrayal of children as the parents’ extended self. Content from Instagram and news media is appropriated in vernacular and commercial digital spaces for conflicting affects: the cute father-son dyad, and the son as extension of the uber-famous, vain father. This extreme case shows how the digital identities of children of celebrities are widely public, formed by the everyday, intimate content of the family’s life, which is persistent and collectively recreated by news media, vernacular culture, and commercial platforms.
... Genel olarak "anne blogger"lar annelik tecrübeleri üzerine blog yazan kişiler olarak tarif edilmektedir (Öz ve Turancı, 2016). Bir başka deyişle "anne blogger" kavramı, kadınların kendi özgün tarzlarıyla çocukları ile ilgili bilgileri bloglarda paylaştıkları bir pratik olarak karşımıza çıkmaktadır (Lopez, 2009) Çalışmada netnografi yönteminin seçilmesinin sebebi özellikleri ortaya konulmaya çalışılan annelerin doğal sohbet ortamlarında yalın biçimde gözlenebilmesini sağlamaktır. ...
... These presentations of motherhood offer examples of mothers conducting business from the kitchen table while their children crawl underneath (Littler, 2018, p. 179). Connected with the wider proliferation of 'mummy blogging' (Hunter, 2016;Lopez, 2009) and 'sharenting' (Blum-Ross & Livingstone, 2017), these 'mumtrepreneurs' promote lifestyle products and services typically consumed by other women and parents, including skin cream, cupcakes, wedding services and children's apparel (Littler, 2018, p. 180). 'Mumpreneurs' not only use their own image to communicate with audiences, they configure their businesses around their children (Ekinsmyth, 2014(Ekinsmyth, , p. 1236. ...
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In this article we examine the proliferation of anti-vaccine content on social media during the COVID-19 pandemic. We employ a case study approach to analyse the techniques used by 13 anti-vaccine influencers to promote vaccine refusal on Instagram for 19 months from January 2020 to July 2021. Our findings reveal that the maternal is strategically invoked in anti-vaccine content by appealing to three interrelated ideal types: the protective mother; the intuitive mother and the doting mother. These portrayals of the maternal are used to encourage vaccine refusal by presenting hegemonic ideals of the ‘good mother’ as one who is natural, holistic and authentic; depicting anti-vaccination as a feminine ideal to which mothers ought to aspire. Authenticity is framed here as a form of embodied expertise, uncorrupted by culture, politics and the medical establishment. Our findings question the pejorative portrayal of suburban mothers in popular media as critical actors in the anti-vaccine movement by revealing the ways anti-vaccine influencers strategically target mothers on social media to achieve visibility, attention and to support their cause.
... , (Bartholomew, Schoppe-Sullivan, Glassman, Kamp Dush, & Sullivan, 2012;Duggan et al., 2015). (Lopez, 2009), (Morrison, 2011), (Latipah, Kistoro, Hasanah, & Putranta, 2020;McDaniel, Coyne, & Holmes, 2012). ...
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Objectives: This study investigates the current state and subjective meaning of “sharenting” using social media by mothers raising children with rare diseases. In addition, the future direction of parenting social support for parents using ICTs was explored.Methods: Among the mothers raising a children with rare diseases, those who informed their children of their diseases with hashtags(#) and shared their daily lives on social media, such as Instagram and Facebook, were purposefully sampled. Nine mothers with children age one to seven years with different rare diseases participated in the in-depth interviews.Results: Mothers raising children with rare diseases with low prevalence have met various parenting support needs through sharenting. In addition, it was found that many mothers were willing to support other parents with similar experiences by actively sharing their information or daily lives. In other words, sharenting not only enhances the positive cognitive and emotional experiences of mothers raising children with rare diseases but also provides an opportunity to contribute to society, ultimately helping support healthy parenting. Moreover, mothers benefited from various support that transcends time and space through sharenting using social media. Thus, social support for parents in need should be delivered through both traditional and digitalized support integrated with ICTs.Conclusion: To support the healthy development of a children with rare diseases, it is necessary to support the high quality of life of parents and their children. By integrating ICTs, individualized and customized social services can be flexibly provided to families and children with rare diseases that have been neglected.
Article
Mothers are among the original social media influencers and their social media content plays a vital role in supporting and sustaining motherhood through relationships of social exchange while simultaneously supporting brand marketing efforts. This study, then, uses a within-subjects, repeated-measure experimental design to examine how increasing the overtness in the promotional explicitness through the text and images of mother influencers’ (Insta-Moms) Instagram posts disrupts mother consumers’ affective responses toward the messages either directly or indirectly, through perceptions of manipulative intent. Findings indicate adverse response when promotional disclosure was present but brand promotion was less overtly explicit, but when brands were both textually and visually promoted, it assuaged feelings of manipulative intent and enhanced affective response to the posts.
Article
Bloggers can help stimulate online conversations among their readers about a variety of health topics, including breast cancer. However, in previous studies, researchers have not specifically examined supportive messages within an online blogger community that stem from an intervention where bloggers were provided with evidence-based information about breast cancer risk that they could tailor and disseminate to their readers. In the current study, we content analyzed 282 supportive messages within online conversations from participants in blogger communities over a 2-month period immediately following an intervention where the authors provided 74 bloggers who write about motherhood issues with an infographic based on evidence-based information from the Breast Cancer and the Environment Research Program (BCERP) about environmental breast cancer risk/prevention. Bloggers who shared information about their personal breast cancer risk generated a significantly higher number of blog reader comments than bloggers who did not share information about their personal breast cancer risk. Bloggers who cited breast cancer statistics in posts were more likely to draw esteem and emotional support from their readers. Bloggers’ repetition of information from blog intervention messages was more likely to elicit esteem, informational, and emotional support from readers. Disclosure of a personal breast cancer diagnosis was associated with mixed types of social support messages. The theoretical and practical implications are discussed along with key limitations of the study and future directions for research in this area.
Article
This article will explore how metaphors of motherhood are used by contemporary female bloggers who are affiliated with certain faith groups. Within religious contexts especially, motherhood blogs are often seen as suitable activities for women (and for young stay-at-home-mothers in particular). Motherhood blogs, like similar female-oriented texts such as internet parenting forums, have a key role to play in terms of understanding, replicating, and/or challenging gendered norms, both online and off (cf. MACKENZIE, 2017b, MACKENZIE, 2018). This article examines two sets of so-called ‘mommy bloggers’ from North American Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint and Evangelical Christian backgrounds, following Knapton’s (2013) work on metaphor in pro-anorexia blogs. It analyses emergent online representations of motherhood in these two internet communities whose faith groups hold similar (yet not identical) beliefs, which include beliefs about the divine calling and design of being a mother. The analysis of selected extracts from the blogs suggests an explicit foregrounding of religious elements in the Evangelical Christian blogs, whereas the religious context tends to be more subtly expressed or axiomatic for the Latter-day Saint bloggers. Common metaphors of motherhood (such as motherhood is a journey) appear frequently in the discourse of both digital communities, presenting motherhood as a difficult yet immensely rewarding experience, and one which can be shared with others online.
Article
Study background Online forums and other virtual communities are an increasing source of postpartum support and information for first-time mothers. However, there is little evidence about how new mothers in Canada access and use online resources. Purpose The purpose of this study was to examine how first-time mothers accessed information and support both online and off-line during the first six months postpartum and how their experiences were constructed through social and institutional discourses. Methods A qualitative feminist poststructuralist approach was used to analyze an online discussion board with first-time mothers in Nova Scotia. Results Mothers who used the online discussion board experienced a sense of community with other mothers where empathy and encouragement were integral to the ways in which information and support were shared. “Weak ties” (with strangers) were important and led to the following themes: (a) empathy, encouragement, and information; (b) socialization; (c) blurring the boundaries of online and off-line networks; and (d) Developing community. Conclusions These online forums offer insight for health professionals looking to improve mothers’ care postpartum and point to a need to foster spaces for new mothers to talk to each other.
Article
By examining digital representations of motherhood, we can chart the emergence of what I refer to as the “digital maternal gaze,” a style of visual and narrative representation that highlights connections between mother and self, mother and child, and mother and audience. In contrast to the conventional male gaze, in which pleasure is derived from voyeuristic observation, the digital maternal gaze generates and depicts the pleasure that comes from connection and care. In this article I develop a theory of the digital maternal gaze and explore its implication for the subjective experience of mothers, the markets for digital representations of motherhood, and the feminist politics of pleasure-in-connection.
Article
This study examines thematic content and discourse surrounding multiracial socialization between Black and non‐Black multiracial families on multiracial mommy blogs. Mommy blogs have been recognized as a medium through which mothers challenge dominant representations of motherhood, create community with other mothers, and seek out advice. But little is known about how mothers write about and discuss race, racism, and multiracial socialization online. This study addresses this knowledge gap by analyzing how a niche of bloggers—mothers to multiracial children—construct narratives surrounding race, multiraciality, and multiracial socialization online and how their narratives differ by the racial makeup of the blogger's family. Using a MultiCrit framework, this study analyzes 13 mommy blogs written by mothers of color with multiracial children. Blogs were analyzed for thematic content related to race, racial identification, multiraciality, and multiracial socialization. The findings demonstrate that mothers' orientations to multiracial socialization vary depending on whether the blogger has Black or non‐Black multiracial children. Bloggers who are mothers to Black multiracial children blogged frequently about their engagement in safety socialization, whereas mothers with non‐Black multiracial children did not. The stark difference between thematic content from bloggers with and without Black multiracial children highlights the differing experiences among Black and non‐Black multiracial people, for mothers of Black multiracial children, and the implications anti‐Black racism has on family processes.
Chapter
Mit der Geburt meines Sohnes änderte sich schlagartig mein Leben. Obwohl ich der Meinung war, gut darauf vorbereitet zu sein, hob es meine gesamte Welt aus den Angeln. Meine Gedanken in dieser Zeit des Mutterseins waren grundlegend für die Wahl des Themas meiner Abschlussarbeit zum Lehramtsstudium für die Unterrichtsfächer Englisch und Geschichte. Im Folgenden berichte ich über meine Erwartungen ans Muttersein, die Ergebnisse meiner Abschlussarbeit sowie meine Erfahrungen als Mutter beim Verfassen der Diplomarbeit.
Article
This paper uses a feminist discourse analytical approach (Sunderland, 2000, Sunderland, 2004, Lazar, 2005, Lazar, 2007) to analyse a set of online blogposts and personal webpages from ‘exclusive pumpers’ (EPers): women who express breastmilk as an alternative to breastfeeding and using infant formula. Using tools from evaluation and stance analysis (Hunston and Thompson, 2000, Bednarek, 2006, Myers, 2010), I examine how EPers construct opinions about exclusive pumping and breastfeeding. The analysis is centred around three interrelated discourses of exclusive pumping (that are both positively and negatively valued): (1) exclusive pumping as equivalent to breastfeeding; (2) exclusive pumping as a challenge; (3) exclusive pumping as mitigating a failure to breastfeed. This nexus of discourses can be viewed as being underpinned by an ‘overarching’ discourse (Sunderland 2000) of ‘exclusive pumping as abnormal’. The implications of this hegemonic, overarching discourse are discussed in relation to a constructed dichotomy of ‘breastfeeding’ versus ‘bottle feeding’. I show how this dichotomy, and the hegemonic discourse of ‘EPing as abnormal’/’breast is best’ serves to (re)produce discourses of normative motherhood.
Article
Objective This study examines the thematic content and social‐health orientation of fathers' online blogs about parenting, health, and fitness. Background Social media provide avenues for parents to contribute to public discourse about parenthood and to offer guidance on health‐related matters. Concerns about familial well‐being have been central to parenting discourse for ages, but little is known about how parents write and talk about health online. This knowledge gap is addressed by examining fathers' writing about health and fitness in blogs. Method A qualitative content analysis of 223 blog posts written by 40 fathers is presented. Blogs were analyzed for thematic patterns and categorized within a social health matrix of personal, interpersonal, community, and cultural health orientations. Results The findings illustrate four dominant themes: “becoming fit for fatherhood,” “how to keep kids healthy,” “the pros and cons of youth sports,” and “public health awareness and promotion.” Collectively, dad blogs are constructing fit fathering discourse that extends ideals for involved fatherhood and healthy masculinities. Conclusion Dad bloggers use social media for civic engagement and health promotion with the intent to spread awareness of men's health issues, refine fathering practices, and enhance familial well‐being. By mobilizing fit fathering discourse online and offline, they are creating a more nurturing culture of fatherhood and raising expectations for father involvement.
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This article investigates the intimate cultures of Finnish influencer mothers. Through in-depth qualitative interviews with four Finnish influencer mothers and online observation of their social media accounts, the article asks how influencers negotiate the feeling rules that govern maternal femininity on social media and attempt to cope with the emotional weight of precarious social media work. The article argues for using the affective practice of anxiety as a theoretical concept to explore the influencers’ routinized emotional behaviour in their attempts to decrease the discrepancy between their emotions and cultural expectations. The article suggests that although anxiety can be considered a negative side effect of stressful social media work, sharing it on social media can also be understood as a tactic that plays a central role in the lifestyle influencer industry. Drawing on Loveday’s analysis of the ‘neurotic academic’, the article suggests that the construction of an entrepreneurial influencer self is underpinned by anxiety. This argument is formulated through the figure of the ‘neurotic influencer’ that is the embodiment of the ambivalent nature of gendered influencer work.
Article
Informed by contributions of Professor Alistair Anderson to the social perspective of entrepreneurship, rooted in social relationships and social capital, this article examines how members of an online community collectively interpret and negotiate the challenges of pursuing entrepreneurship alongside parenthood. This article adopts a multi-staged research design, incorporating netnography, participant observation, and qualitative semi-structured interviews. The analysis reveals the critical role of networking in how entrepreneuring women construct and maintain community connections and distinguishes between three dimensions of community engagement: Building, Being and Belonging. Drawing on communities of practice as an analytical lens, we offer new insights into the form and function of communal entrepreneurial practices facilitated by the digital environment.
Chapter
Minimalism has become a trendy lifestyle choice promoted in popular blogs and podcasts that offer solutions for modern parenting problems. Brands of heirloom-quality wooden and handmade toys have grown in popularity to serve consumers who adopt minimalism for their children. Predicated on a seeming rejection of consumerism and embrace of eco-friendly simplicity, these media are targeted toward primarily white consumers with the wealth to afford high-end toys, furniture, and clothes that fit an elite minimalist aesthetic. This version of minimalist parenting perpetuates class hierarchies because simply “doing without” toys to achieve childhood minimalism is rarely the proffered solution; having fewer, much more expensive toys is. My research offers a critical textual analysis of the classist assumptions and racialized messages in independent and corporate-affiliated blogs and podcasts to argue that eco-friendly, anti-consumerist messages are being appropriated to support exclusive, elite lifestyles.
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In this study, ideological criticism combined with use of muted group theory are employed to analyze four Quiverfull mothering blogs in order to unveil the models of mothering and maternal messages that emerge from the discourse. The Quiverfull, comprised of fundamentalist Christians who advocate prolific birth rates and strict traditional gender norms, propose a very narrowly defined view of motherhood. Therefore, the goal of this study is to analyze how Quiverfull mothers choose to construct and maintain their own rhetorical vision of motherhood through mommy blogs, in an effort to understand if Quiverfull mothers also struggle to “get it right” like so many other contemporary mothers, faced with cultural contradictions. The findings unveil that Quiverfull mothers struggle with many of the same ideological pressures that mainstream mothers endure such as being almost entirely responsible for childrearing, wanting to find time for themselves amidst society's demands that children become a mother's “everything,” and negotiating their role as mothers in the public sphere. However, Quiverfull mothers' primary difference from mainstream mothers is through their relationship with God. They relinquish all control to God's will, challenging the notion that good mothers must always be in control. Additionally, Quiverfull mothers distance themselves from feminist ideology by promulgating the need for male authority and criticizing all pro-choice sentiment. Moreover, through the exploration of these online artifacts, this study acknowledges the ideological differences between mothering groups, yet exposes that both mainstream and Quiverfull mothers find success as a mother almost unattainable. As a result, this study proposes that mommy blogs have the rhetorical ability to challenge mothering models that destine many mothers to “fail,” imbue value into motherhood, and unite women of competing and polarized ideologies as a way to question the “timeless truth” of what constitutes good mothering.
Article
Blogging among young, tech-savvy mothers has been a popular media outlet for discussing domestic activities since the early 2000s in South Korea. In “mommy blogs,” young mothers negotiate ideal motherhood through the meanings of the sacrificial mother and postfeminist, neoliberal values. Using the frameworks of sacrifice and self-enterprise in a neoliberal sense, I argue that mothers commodify the home space for their neoliberal aspirations while hiding their individual desires behind sacrificial motherhood. Mothers’ baking blog economy, especially the system of power blogger, reveals a sacrificial production of healthy consumable commodities that promotes neoliberal aspirations of mothers to earn social capital. The analysis of power blogging also speaks to the paradox of postfeminist, neoliberal values rooted in sacrificial motherhood. An internalized market rationality is the driving force of mothers’ work, successfully hidden behind the idea of sacrifice. South Korean mommy bloggers resist the prevailing idea of the super mom while reappropriating the relationship between domestic responsibilities and work to suit the motherly duties of sacrifice. This neoliberal aspiration arises from a mother’s sense of individualism and the blurring of the private and public, which reinforces the Confucian patriarchal system.
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In the present study, we studied young adults who think work and family are equally and highly central – those with dual-centric work/family identities. Using a mixed-method approach, we explored their characteristics, costs, benefits, and strategies of dual-centric work/family identities. The sample consisted of 124 participants, of which 36 participants (50% female) had dual-centric work/family identities. They reported higher levels of work satisfaction compared to those without dual-centric identities. Thematic analyses of interviews showed intra- and inter-individual costs and benefits. Strategies to handle the dual-centric identities included time management, communication approaches, and cognitive tactics. Thus, dual-centric identities are individual, but also relational as others are part of consequences and strategies. Practical and theoretical implications of dual-centric identities are discussed.
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Link to the full volume https://www.ledonline.it/index.php/LCM-Journal/pages/view/qlcm-12-Authenticity-on-YouTube
Chapter
The Elf on the Shelf (EotS) has become—as well as being a best-selling book and toy of the same name—a cultural phenomenon. As a Christmas tradition, the EotS only dates back to 2005, but has quickly gained hold in homes across the world. For the marketers of EotS, it’s also a huge money-spinner, earning millions worldwide. Originally self-published as a book by a retired teacher in 2005, the EotS book now sells with an EotS toy who sits on the shelf and, according to its story, reports back to Santa any ‘naughty or nice’ behaviour of the resident children. The EotS resides in many homes and schools pre-Christmas, giving parents and teachers leverage in the lead up to Christmas. EotS can also be viewed as a more sinister societal surveillance tool, normalising the panopticon and making parents complicit with the concept of omnipresent spying. While ‘magical’ rather than technological, EotS could nevertheless be seen as normalising and promoting a parentally-endorsed surveillance (and consumer) culture. Simultaneously, the EotS also has become both a chore and a source of fun for parents of Santa believers globally, as parents (mostly mothers) each night change the Elf’s location and position.
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This article is based on a very straightforward question: what are the differences between conventional handwritten diaries and the online diaries that are increasingly appearing on the World Wide Web? I argue that an important aspect of the differences lie in the experimental and material conditions of the Web itself.
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This article reports that blogging is sometimes viewed as a new, grassroots form of journalism and a way to shape democracy outside the mass media and conventional party politics. Blog sites devoted to politics and punditry, as well as to sharing technical developments, receive thousands of hits a day. But the vast majority of blogs are written by ordinary people for much smaller audiences. This article reports the results of an ethnographic investigation of blogging in a sample of ordinary bloggers. Researchers investigated blogging as a form of personal communication and expression, with a specific interest in uncovering the range of motivations driving individuals to create and maintain blogs. Blogs combine the immediacy of up-to-the-minute posts, latest first, with a strong sense of the author's personality, passions and point of view. They found tremendous diversity in blog content, even in their limited sample. On the serious side, a graduate student in genetics, posted commentaries on science and health, covering such topics as AIDS, heart disease, science education and health care policy.
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In reporting news stories about maternal infanticide, journalists and sources employ the narrative of the flawed mother in explaining why women killed their children. A qualitative analysis of 250 US news articles over a 12-year period found that journalists characterized murderous mothers in oppositional terms, as either superior nurturers driven to insanity because they cared so much, or inferior caretakers who shirked their maternal duties because they cared so little. This focus on the individual allowed journalists to organize and simplify complex information from diverse sources; however, reporters missed opportunities to present infanticide in the broader context of gender inequity and to examine disparities in punishments for women convicted of murdering their children. Journalists’ accounts of the causes of maternal violence - postpartum illness, economic stress, alcohol and drug abuse, too early and unplanned pregnancies, and loss of hope for the future - too often were superficial, reinforcing the myth of the all-knowing, all-loving, and all-powerful mother, and ignoring the fact that infanticide is a crime that has complex causes. Journalists can strengthen reporting on maternal violence by critically examining stereotypes of mothering as ‘natural’, and therefore easy, and by questioning the availability of family, community, and institutional resources for women who cannot or do not mother well.
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An analysis of online diaries suggests some of the ways in which autobiographical stories and subjects are shaped on the Web. The computer as a writing tool, and the Web as a publishing medium, influence the practices of diary writing, affecting how diaries are written, what is written and to whom, and how they are read and interpreted.
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This article provides a critical discussion and empirical investigation of secondary digital divide factors, including gendered variations in Internet use. Analyses were conducted on data obtained from 716 respondents, who were self-reported Internet users based on a nation-wide telephone survey in Singapore. Results showed that females and males differed significantly in terms of their perceived Internet efficacy and identified various factors including socio-economic status, perceived Internet efficacy, and gender that undergird Internet use.
Advertising and Political Economy of Lesbian/Gay Identity
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