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Monstrous Mothers and the Media


Goc, NE, Monstrous Mothers and the Media, Monsters and the Monstrous: Myths and Metaphors of Enduring Evil, Rodopi, Niall Scott (ed), New York, pp. 149-166. ISBN 978-90-420-2253-9 (2007) [Research Book Chapter]

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Mothers have been receiving bad press since that mytho log ical 'monstrous mother', Medea, killed her children. The "Cruel Mother" motif has been a recurrent representation in plays, ballads, poem s and novels for centuries and continues to survive in the 'monstrous mother' motif of contemporary media infanticide and child abuse discourses. The dem on ising of mothers has reached an apex in media discourses of recent years positioning mothers - Kathleen Folbigg, Sally Clarke, Angela Cannings , Andrea Yates and Donna Anthony - as "Monstrous Mothers". Contemporary media discourse places the deviant mother with in news texts as wicked and cruel, the antithesis of motherhood. Through the individualising of dev iance within the 'monstrous mother' paradigm the media audience, and soc iety, is absolved of responsibility through the act ions of the individual. Using contemporary media texts 1 will examine the role the media plays in creating the social space in which motherhood continues to be constrained within a patriarchal ideology where women as mothers continue to be categorised, idealised and demoni sed and where dev iant mothers are understood as 'monstrous' .

Item Details

Item Type:Research Book Chapter
Keywords:Infanticide, ce lebrity culture, motherhood, media disco urses, master narrative, dominant ideology, representation
Research Division:Language, Communication and Culture
Research Group:Communication and media studies
Research Field:Media studies
Objective Division:Culture and Society
Objective Group:Communication
Objective Field:The media
UTAS Author:Goc, NE (Dr Nicola Goc)
ID Code:45653
Year Published:2007
Deposited By:English, Journalism and European Languages
Deposited On:2007-08-01
Last Modified:2012-02-08
Downloads:13 View Download Statistics

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