Representations of Motherhood in a Popular Maternal Magazine
Ting-Yu Chen (Department of Communication, Nan-Hua University)
The concept of motherhood was (and still is) culturally constituted, and that media including popular maternal magazines has played an important role in the process. A highly circulated magazine addressing motherhood is one of the most influential institutions for new mothers’ socialization.
For centuries, women have suffered from the feeling of guilt as they struggled with the myths of motherhood versus reality discrepancy. The study explores the social construction of motherhood in a popular magazine Baby & Mother targeting current and expecting mothers in order to see some dominant ideologies around motherhood that oppress women. As part of this exploration, I will examine how Baby & Mother portrays the “good” mother. Overall, my aim is to extract the discourses emphasized, and those marginalized, or even completely excluded to identify the myths of motherhood in popular women’s magazines.
This study found a subjectivity-confined, technocratic, romanticized, middle-class ideological, professionalized, and consumerist motherhood presented in Baby & Mother magazine. The magazine reproduced an neo-liberal, post-industrial, late capitalistic, technocratic, and patriarchal ideology by representing motherhood.
motherhood, women’s magazines, social constructions,