Maternal Readings of Popular Television
Chapter 3: Emulation, not identification: Sartorial styles, domestic skills and maternal discipline
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Emulation, not identification: Sartorial styles, domestic skills and maternal discipline
Terrestrial television gives us access to numerous television channels, and the list of television stations in the United Kingdom available on satellite and cable systems offers more variety again, with many scheduling 24-hour programming. And in this steady stream of television coverage one might expect mothers in the audience to come across or seek out familiar, recognisable and relatable maternal figures. From this estimation then, it is crucial that we listen to these women as they describe the ways in which they relate to mothers on the small screen and listen carefully when they explain, in detail in many cases, why they do not and cannot identify with the fictional characters and factual personalities that are presented in the schedules. Responses in this chapter relate to a question that I posed in the middle of the questionnaire, namely ‘Are there any mothers on television that you can relate to?’ with the additional help text enquiring ‘Do you feel that you are like these women or can think of experiences that you have seen reflected in the mothers that you see on television? Are you able to identify with their domestic space, relationships, friendships, mothering skills or working environment?’
No, not really and not at all: Struggling to relate to maternal depictions
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