Celebrating motherhood. Face-work analysis of Mother’s Day advertisements



Rok publikování 2023
Druh Další prezentace na konferencích
Fakulta / Pracoviště MU

Filozofická fakulta

Popis The representation of the mother figure in the discourse of advertising has mostly focused on the positive aspects of motherhood. This has resulted in the social construct of a flawless mother and in a cultural code of motherhood as a patriarchal institution with narrowly prescribed social and cultural expectations (Rich, 1976; O’Reilly, 2010). From the point of view of performative face-work (Moore, 2017), advertising texts tend to appeal to the positive face by addressing face-saving topics such as having a perfect household, smart children and ideal body and being capable of handling any type of problem. On the other hand, the face-threatening topics such as negative emotions and unwelcome troubles tend not to be discussed. Framed within the methodological framework of performative face-work (Moore, 2017) and multimodal discourse analysis (Kress & van Leeuwen, 2001; Ledin & Machin, 2020), the paper studies selected U.S. Mother’s Day audio-visual advertisements aired in the last years that challenge the negative face. These texts tend to foreground some of the negative aspects of motherhood by showing unhappy mothers, mothers that fight hard with everyday challenges during the pandemic, or mothers who swear. The preliminary results show that while the visual modality threatens the negative institutional face of motherhood, the verbal modality tries to normalize it, and thus to justify an individual’s imperfectness in mothering.
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