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The 'stay-at-home' mother, postfeminism and neoliberalism: content analysis of UK news coverage

Orgad, Shani and De Benedictis, Sara (2015) The 'stay-at-home' mother, postfeminism and neoliberalism: content analysis of UK news coverage. European Journal of Communication, 30 (4). pp. 418-436. ISSN 0267-3231

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Identification Number: 10.1177/0267323115586724


This article analyzes the construction in the UK media of the ‘stay-at-home mother’, a maternal figure who received increasing visibility during the recession and its aftermath. Based on a content analysis of UK national newspaper coverage of stay-at-home mothers (2008–2013), this article argues that the stay-at-home mother emerges from its press coverage as a neoliberal postfeminist subject. On the one hand, the coverage complicates claims about antifeminist backlash and women’s harking back to passive femininity. On the other hand, it fails significantly to undermine maternal femininity’s entanglement with neoliberalism, and reinforces the process described by McRobbie as ‘disarticulation’, by separating between middle-class mothers and working-class mothers.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2015 The Authors
Divisions: Media and Communications
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
H Social Sciences > HN Social history and conditions. Social problems. Social reform
H Social Sciences > HQ The family. Marriage. Woman
Date Deposited: 06 Jul 2015 09:55
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 00:31
Funders: LSE Seed Fund

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