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White pregnant bodies on the Australian beach: a visual discourse analysis of family photographs


Nash, M, White pregnant bodies on the Australian beach: a visual discourse analysis of family photographs, Journal of Gender Studies, 27, (5) pp. 589-606. ISSN 0958-9236 (2018) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

© 2016 Informa UK

DOI: doi:10.1080/09589236.2016.1264297


In this paper, I discuss a group of photographs that feature a place intrinsically related with Australian women’s photographic memories of pregnancy – the beach. Building on feminist interdisciplinary studies of family photography, I argue that family photographs of pregnancy contribute to alternative ways of knowing and interpreting the Australian beach landscape and the entangled social relations and interactions within these spaces. Data are drawn from a set of 34 pregnancy photographs that were taken at the beach in [Tasmania] between 1945 and 2013 and collected as part of a larger, ongoing mixed methods research project involving the analysis of 236 Australian family photographs of pregnancy. In this paper, I conduct a visual discourse analysis of three categories of beach pregnancy images including (1) the family holiday photograph, (2) the bikini photograph and (3) the ‘natural’ pregnant body/landscape photograph to enable a more precise account of how personal and cultural memories of the Australian beach intersect. In the concluding discussion, I suggest that the beach is a critical site for deepening sociological and feminist understandings of the production and expression of pregnant identities and Australian national identity.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:embodiment, feminism, maternity, snapshot photography, whiteness, visual methods, gender, family photography, pregnancy, reproduction
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Sociology
Research Field:Social change
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in human society
UTAS Author:Nash, M (Associate Professor Meredith Nash)
ID Code:112720
Year Published:2018 (online first 2016)
Deposited By:School of Social Sciences
Deposited On:2016-11-24
Last Modified:2018-09-20

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