Demythicising motherhood – empowering maternal narratives in contemporary Anglo-American TV commercials



Rok publikování 2022
Druh Další prezentace na konferencích
Fakulta / Pracoviště MU

Filozofická fakulta

Popis The image of a perfect mother created by the mass media in the 20th century has resulted in a number of myths that do not reflect how real mothers experience mothering in their everyday lives. These myths have been labelled as “intensive mothering” (Hays, 1996) or “new momism” (Douglas and Michaels, 2004) and have been condemned by scholars across social and cultural spheres (e.g., Chodorow 1989; Thurer 1994; Caplan 2000; Papazian 2010 or O’Brien Hallstein 2015). The socio-cultural changes have shifted the 21st century advertising into the context of what Jenkins (2004) or Deuze (2007) calls “newly empowered consumer”. Considering the overall empowerment movement that has occurred recently in the Western society or even globally, the discourse of advertising has also reacted to the demands of newly empowered consumers. The objective of the paper is to discuss TV commercials aired recently in the UK and in the USA that go against the traditional picture of a perfect mother and are not afraid of showing mother-related issues that might be considered taboo or stigmatized, such as mothers’ mental health or postpartum recovery. Following the methodological framework of multimodal discourse analysis (Kress and van Leeuwen 2001; Ledin and Machin 2020), the paper will focus on both words and images that index the new trend of picturing empowered mothers in contemporary ads. The paper will also discuss how these new mother figures are appreciated by mothers themselves as well as by broader public and media.
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