Images, representations and constructions of mothers have historically shaped and continue to shape the way we imagine the institution of motherhood and the experience of mothering. The various contributions included in this volume consider the diversity of maternal images and narratives that circulate in literature, the arts and popular culture and analyse how they reflect on and influence the cultural meaning of motherhood in the contemporary era. Mindful of the fact that the images of motherhood that we see in popular media, on television, and in literature are not mere background noise to our daily lives, the various chapters explore how they influence our understanding of what it means to be a mother, affect our expectations of motherhood and of mothers, frame our experience of mothering, and even inform our reproductive decisions.
Including insights from media studies, cultural studies, literary studies, and the performing and visual arts, this book explores how engaging with diverse representations of mothers and mothering contributes to a broader and deeper interdisciplinary understanding of how motherhood is constructed in our time.
The chapters in this book were originally published as a special issue of the journal Women: A Cultural Review.