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The maternal in the city: outdoor advertising representations in Shanghai and London

Orgad, Shani and Meng, Bingchun (2017) The maternal in the city: outdoor advertising representations in Shanghai and London. Communication, Culture & Critique, 10 (3). pp. 460-478. ISSN 1753-9129

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Identification Number: 10.1111/cccr.12171


The article examines representations of mothers in Shanghai and London outdoor advertising. We treat their display of motherhood as a regulatory space where ideas about the maternal and fantasies of the “good life” under neoliberal rationality are formulated and normalized. Situating Shanghai and London outdoor adverts within their respective media cultures, we identify two common themes: (a) mothers as self-responsible individuals managing the family; (b) public display of maternity and intimate family life. We discuss similarities and differences in depictions of motherhood and the purportedly normative ideas about the “good life” they suggest. We argue that outdoor advertising acts as a visual disciplinary space regulating fantasies of the “good life” which millions of city-dwellers consume, but rarely realize.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2016 International Communication Association
Divisions: Media and Communications
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Date Deposited: 25 Nov 2016 15:08
Last Modified: 06 Apr 2024 00:33

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