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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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Contributor Biographies


Beth L. Boser is a Visiting Assistant Professor at The College of Wooster in Ohio. Her scholarship focuses primarily on political rhetoric and rhetorics of reproduction, birth, and motherhood. Currently, she is focused on discourses of mental health and medicine within these contexts. She earned a Ph.D. from the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at the University of Southern California in 2013. Her dissertation, titled Miracles of Birth and Action: Natality and the Rhetoric of Birth Advocacy, explores the complexities of women’s agency in contexts of childbirth through analyses of historical case studies. Her work also appears in Rhetoric & Public Affairs.

Carolyn Bronstein, Ph.D. is a Professor of Communication in the College of Communication at DePaul University.  She is the author of Battling Pornography: The American Feminist Anti-Pornography Movement, 1976–1986 (Cambridge University Press, 2011), for which she received the 2012 Emily Toth Award for the Best Single Work in Women’s Studies, given by the Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association. Her scholarship on gender and media representation, social responsibility, and contemporary feminism has been published in a wide range of media, history and communication journals, including Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, the Journal of Women’s History, Feminist Media Studies, the Journal of Mass Media Ethics, and Camera Obscura. Her popular writing on feminism has appeared in The Atlantic.  She is currently coediting a collection of essays that analyzes the impact of pornography on American culture and politics in the 1970s.

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