Cover image for Mommy angst : motherhood in American popular culture
Mommy angst : motherhood in American popular culture
Hall, Ann C., 1959-
Publication Information:
Santa Barbara, Calif. : Praeger, [2009]

Physical Description:
xvii, 234 pages ; 25 cm
Media morality tales and the politics of motherhood / Katherine N. Kinnick -- The motherless "Disney princess" : marketing mothers out of the picture / Marjorie Worthington -- Motherhood, memory, and Mambo : the case of the missing Cuban American mother in contemporary America popular culture / Manuel Martínez -- Of mamothers and behemothers-in-law : toward a twenty-first-century bestiary / Craig N. Owens -- Killer instincts : motherhood and violence in The long kiss goodnight and Kill Bill / Angela Dancey -- Hip mamas : Gilmore girls and Ariel Gore / Robin Silbergleid -- Running the home, house, and senate : political moms Pelosi, Clinton, and Palin / Ann C. Hall -- The mommy lift : cutting mothers down to size / Mardia Bishop -- The bioethics of designing "disabled" babies / Alina Bennett -- "Real" motherhood : changing perceptions of adoption in American history / Kathleen L. Riley -- / Dennis Hall -- Jewish mothers : types, stereotypes, and countertypes / Jessica Prinz.

Format :


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HQ759 .M848 2009 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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This revealing work looks at representations of motherhood from a wide range of pop culture sources to explore larger questions about the image and self-image of mothers in the United States.

* 12 contributors--accomplished scholars from a range of fields, including theatre, literature studies, sociology, film, women's studies, media studies, and psychology

* A chronology showing how portrayals of motherhood have evolved over time

* Bibliographies with each essay, listing key sources in print and online for further reading

* A comprehensive index

Author Notes

Ann C. Hall is professor of English at Ohio Dominican University, Columbus, OH.

Mardia J. Bishop is in the Communication Department at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Although little has changed in American images of motherhood (think how quickly guilt is evoked or elicited), much has changed (think women using mommy sabbaticals from careers as résumé builders). Editors Hall and Bishop pointedly resist simple classification of good mothers to avoid aggravating already intense anxiety but offer a collection of essays on how motherhood is represented in the culture through movies, literature, news, and other media. Contributors, all academics, look at feminist perspectives on motherhood; disabled mothers and women with disabled children in a culture that prizes physical perfection; the marketability of motherhood (as evidenced by the number of motherhood-related Web sites); and challenges to the authenticity of adoptive motherhood. Among the questions the contributors explore: Why do Disney princesses have no mothers? How has the popularity of Gilmore Girls affected views on teenage pregnancies? How have Nancy Pelosi, Hillary Clinton, and Sarah Palin presented themselves as mothers in their political careers? These are well-researched, thoughtful, and occasionally amusing essays on changing and enduring images of motherhood in American culture.--Bush, Vanessa Copyright 2010 Booklist

Choice Review

The strengths of this introductory volume are its wide range of topics and its focus on current issues surrounding representation of motherhood. Covering such topics as the depiction of motherless princesses in Disney films and the continuing reliance on stock characters (despite the major changes in US society since the days of June Cleaver), the collection focuses on popular culture's ambivalence and anxiety surrounding motherhood--not a new insight. But Hall (English, Ohio Dominican Univ.) and Bishop (communication, Univ. of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign) include several essays that delve deeply into the contemporary moment, treating, for example, differing strategies used by Hilary Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, and Sarah Palin when playing the "mother card"; the implications of "mommy lift" cosmetic surgery procedures; and motherhood online. These will appeal to students doing work on contemporary popular culture and trends surrounding motherhood. The collection does a good job of dissecting the media's longing for a singular definition and ideal of motherhood by contrasting real mothers with their popular-culture counterparts from a range of disciplines and perspectives. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower- and upper-division undergraduates; general readers. L. L. Beadling University of Wisconsin--Platteville

Table of Contents

Ann C. Hall and Mardia J. BishopKatherine N. KinnickMarjorie WorthingtonManuel MartínezCraig N. OwensAngela DanceyRobin SilbergleidAnn C. HallMardia J. BishopAlina BennettKathleen L. RileyDennis HallJessica Prinz
Introductionp. vii
1 Media Morality Tales and the Politics of Motherhoodp. 1
2 The Motherless "Disney Princess": Marketing Mothers out of the Picturep. 29
3 Motherhood, Memory, and Mambo: The Case of the Missing Cuban American Mother in Contemporary American Popular Culturep. 47
4 Of Mamothers and Behemothers-in-Law: Toward a Twenty-First-Century Bestiaryp. 63
5 Killer Instincts: Motherhood and Violence in The Long Kiss Goodnight and Kill Billp. 81
6 Hip Mamas: Gilmore Girls and Ariel Gorep. 93
7 Running the Home, House, and Senate: Political Moms Pelosi, Clinton, and Palinp. 113
8 The Mommy Lift: Cutting Mothers Down to Sizep. 129
9 The Bioethics of Designing "Disabled" Babiesp. 145
10 "Real" Motherhood: Changing Perceptions of Adoption in American Historyp. 165
11 Moms.Comp. 179
12 Jewish Mothers: Types, Stereotypes, and Countertypesp. 197
About the Editors and Contributorsp. 227
Indexp. 231