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Mediated Moms

Contemporary Challenges to the Motherhood Myth

Edited By Heather L. Hundley and Sara E. Hayden

Images of «good mothers» saturate the media, yet so too do images of mothers who do not fit this mold. Numerous scholars have addressed «bad mothers» in the media, arguing that these images are a necessary counterpoint that serves to buttress the «good mother» myth. While mediated images of women who fail to enact good motherhood may promote good mothering as an ideal, the essays in Mediated Moms: Contemporary Challenges to the Motherhood Myth, suggest that this is not all that is occurring in contemporary portrayals of maternity. The authors in this volume explore how images of mothers have expanded beyond the good/bad dichotomy, simultaneously and sometimes paradoxically serving to reinforce, fracture, and/or transcend the ideology of good motherhood.
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This book was conceived in honor, admiration, and respect for all the “mothers” in our lives. We see many of our friends, family, and colleagues rejoice and struggle with the daily machinations of parenting, generally, but mothering, more specifically. At a time when women have more reproductive choices, we have also witnessed women grapple with their decisions to remain childless and to mother in nontraditional ways. In a culture where approximately 75% of the parenting and household duties remain the woman’s responsibilities (regardless of whether she has a career outside of the home), we hope this anthology engages readers to question such naturalized assumptions.

Heather would like to thank her mother, Sharon Hart, for her love, care, and encouragement throughout her life. Her guidance has always been appreciated; her strength admired; and her devotion to her children venerated. Heather also expresses appreciation to others who may not be biological mothers, or are not her mother, but mother nonetheless. They include her “academic mothers” Leah Vande Berg, A. Susan Owen, and Jan Andersen; and her “family mothers” grandmother Bessie Hundley, stepmother Yvonne Hundley, and mother-in-law Luann Abbott; and sisters-in-law Lisa Hundley, Amy Smith, Hayley Taylor, and Anne Cordaro.

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