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Mommyblogs and the Changing Face of Motherhood

Mommyblogs and the Changing Face of Motherhood

Copyright Date: 2013
Pages: 200
  • Book Info
    Mommyblogs and the Changing Face of Motherhood
    Book Description:

    Beyond their capacity to entertain, how have mommyblogs shifted our understanding of twenty-first-century motherhood?

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-6523-1
    Subjects: Sociology, Language & Literature

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-2)
  4. 1 Introduction
    (pp. 3-28)

    Thus began the first blog I ever read, on my travels towards motherhood. In my pregnant and slowly expanding state, the words of a woman I didn’t know seemed to hold the key to the secret reality that awaited me. I couldn’t imagine the shift in identity that lay before me, and as an apprehensive traveller to this uncharted territory, I looked to blogs – part welcome mat, part travel guide – to ease my trepidation. But I did not yet understand how central blogs written by mothers would be to my development, as both a person and a parent. I read...

  5. 2 A Short History of the Mamasphere and the Discursive Construction of Motherhood
    (pp. 29-44)

    Mommyblogging, as a practice, has shifted understandings of motherhood. To best understand the roots of this shift, it is necessary to look to the history of blogging itself as well as the ways that motherhood came to be seen as a unique and definitive criterion for bloggers. How did personal online life writing become such a central component of daily communication in the industrialized world? Within this emergent genre, how did motherhood become such an important and commodified space, and one that so completely defined its authors? An examination of blogging practice provides the background for the history of the...

  6. 3 On Hybridity: The Diversity and Multiplicity of the Mamasphere
    (pp. 45-75)

    Why care about mommyblogs? Having established the large number of mothers blogging, what is it about their stories that is unique and disruptive?

    The mommyblogs I have read have been written by mothers who range from ages sixteen to seventy and up; who self-identify across the spectrum of race, including many mothers with hybridized racial identities; who represent a wide range of sexualities and gender positions; and who have a range of different abilities. Many mothers live at the intersections of these various identity markers, and blend these identities with other characteristics, such as identifying predominantly as abuse survivors or...

  7. 4 On the Cyborg: Dialogism and Collective Stories
    (pp. 76-109)

    Mommyblogs – like other writing online – exist, by definition, at the intersection of human and machine; they are heavily mediated by technology yet nonetheless are authored by humans in relationships with one another. Their cyborg nature is heightened by the fact that they document such very corporeal, physical work: that of procreation and tending to small (and not so small) children. Even among bloggers who document life with older children, the physical body, and the long-lasting effects of motherhood on it, are discursively present. Further-more, mommybloggers rely on technology to mediate not only their writing but also the relationships they create...

  8. 5 On Queer: A Liminal and Unfixed Motherhood
    (pp. 110-140)

    If hybridity allows for an analysis of the breadth and diversity of the mamasphere, and the cyborg gives consideration to the relationality and dialogic nature of mommyblogging, what insight may be gained by considering the mamasphere through the lens of queer theory? Drawing from Judith Halberstam’s (2005) assertion that a “queer adjustment” (p. 6) allows for opportunities to reconsider ideas of both time and space, is it possible to view mothers who blog with this queer adjustment in mind?

    Fundamentally, a queer analysis of motherhood allows for an unfixed subjectivity to emerge. Such an understanding draws from Patti Lather’s (1991)...

  9. 6 Conclusion
    (pp. 141-154)

    As I was reading through mommyblogs in researching this book, I was unable to scroll through my list of selected blogs in a linear fashion. As I pored over any given blog, I was drawn to comments, and would click to a commenter’s blog to finish the discussion, retreat to a mommyblogger’s archive to gain context, or pause and google an external reference. I found “hypertext” to be aptly named as it effectively disrupted the stable, staid, and idealized research process (much like mommyblogs disrupt notions of motherhood). I was hyperactively hopping around, gathering information in a peripatetic fashion. As...

  10. Appendix: List of Blogs Selected for Primary Research
    (pp. 155-162)
  11. Notes
    (pp. 163-172)
  12. References
    (pp. 173-182)
  13. Index
    (pp. 183-189)