Moms in the middle: Parenting magazines, motherhood texts and the “mommy wars.”
Eaves, Katherine L.
AdvisorMattson Lauters, Amy
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This research examines the role of parenting magazines and popular texts about motherhood in the social construction of the “mommy wars,” or the cultural tug-of-war between women who work for pay and women who stay home to care for their children. A critical discourse analytic method was used to examine a constructed 10-year sample of Parents magazine, as well as the three best-selling mainstream motherhood texts from 1990 to 2000. Two predominant themes were identified, as well as a number of salient sub themes, all of which contribute to a socially constructed ideology of motherhood. This analysis suggests that these texts perpetuate the “mommy wars” by reinforcing the views working and at-home mothers have of themselves, promoting the ideology of intensive mothering, and discouraging discussion of the ambivalence many women feel about motherhood.
Thesis (M.A.) - Wichita State University, College of Liberal Arts and Science, Elliott School of Communication