Media Depictions of Brides, Wives, and Mothers

Media Depictions of Brides, Wives, and Mothers

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Media Depictions of Brides, Wives, and Mothers, edited by Alena Amato Ruggerio, explores how television, film, the internet, and other media variously perpetuate gender stereotypes. The contributors to this volume bring a variety of feminist rhetorical and media criticism approaches from across the communication discipline to their analyses of how television, film, news coverage, and the Internet shape our expectations of the performance of women's identities. This collection includes studies of Bridezillas, Jon & Kate Plus 8, Sex and the City, Sarah Palin, Nancy Pelosi, The Devil Wears Prada, Practical Magic, "momtini" blogs, and Mad Men fan websites. Readers will learn to apply the insights from each chapter to their own sets of myths, stereotypes, and assumptions about gendered roles, and to recognize the possibilities for both liberation and domination when women's practices of marrying, mating, and mothering are represented and misrepresented in the media. This collection is an essential contribution to media studies and criticism of gender stereotypes in contemporary culture.

Read the author's recent interview with Literary Ashland. You can also visit the author's website here.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 258 pages
  • 160 x 234 x 25mm | 531g
  • Lanham, MD, United States
  • English
  • 0739177087
  • 9780739177082
  • 2,760,792

Table of contents

Part 1. Television
Chapter 1. Domesticating Matrimonial Monstrosity: Bridezillas and Narratives of Feminine Containment
by Alyssa Ann Samek
Chapter 2. The Reality of Televised Motherhood: The Personal Quest and Feminine Test of Kate Gosselin
by Mary Frances Casper and Deneen Gilmour
Chapter 3. Marriage, Friendship, and Scandal: Constructing a Typology of Media Representation of Women in Desperate Housewives
by Paula Hopeck and Rebecca K. Ivic
Chapter 4. Ancient Archetypes in Modern Media
by Deborah A. Macey
Chapter 5. Christian Patriarchy Lite: TLC's 19 Kids and Counting
by Christy Ellen Mesaros-Winckles
Part 2. Film
Chapter 6. Punishing Unfaithful Wives and Working Mothers: Messages of Postfeminism in Contemporary Film
by Erika M. Thomas
Chapter 7. Love and Lack: Media, Witches, and Normative Gender Roles
by Victoria L. Godwin
Chapter 8. Head Above Water: Applying Nussbaum's "Capabilities Approach" to Deepa Mehta's 2005 Film
by Lauren J. DeCarvalho
Part 3. News Coverage
Chapter 9. Feminine Style and Militant Motherhood in Antiwar Discourse: Cindy Sheehan as Grieving Mother and/or Left-Leaning Radical
by Heidi E. Hamilton
Chapter 10. Grisly Mama: Carnivorous Media Coverage of Sarah Palin
by Alena Amato Ruggerio
Chapter 11. "Stand by Your Man" Revisited: Political Waves and Scandal
by Hinda Mandell
Chapter 12. "Taking Care of the Children and the Country": Nancy Pelosi and the Trope of Motherhood in Partisan and Mainstream Media
by Sheryl L. Cunningham
Chapter 13. Local Media Madness: How One City's Media Helped Perpetuate the Myth of the "Perfect" Coach's Wife
by Diana L. Tucker
Chapter 14. Who's Framing Whom? Michele Bachmann and the (Primary) Politics of Motherhood
by Ann E. Burnette
Part 4. Internet
Chapter 15. Momtinis, Not Martyrs: Blogs that Recast Motherhood and Muted Groups
by Rita L. Rahoi-Gilchrest
Chapter 16. Love Thy Mother? Discrepant Constructions of Motherhood in the "Outsmart Mother Nature with Tampax" Campaign
by Dacia Charlesworth
Chapter 17. Taking the Audience Perspective: Online Fan Commentary about the Brides of Mad Men and their Weddings
by Lynne M. Webb, Marceline Thompson Hayes, Hao-Chieh Chang, and Marcia M. Smith
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Review quote

Alena Amato Ruggerio's anthology offers a stimulating collection of chapters by scholars who discuss the impact of myths and stereotypes in media portrayals of brides, wives, and mothers. What's most intriguing and hopeful is its media literacy approach, which neither wholly blames nor wholly forgives but rather advocates the empowerment of media consumers through critical thinking and social activism that can replace inappropriate and damaging images and perceptions with 'equality and justice.' This collection's excellent chapters provide road maps for this worthy outcome. -- Mary-Lou Galician, Arizona State University Although the editor's aim is to offer current research on how media perpetuate gender stereotypes, one might wonder-given today's plethora of depictions of women throughout television, cable, film-if this is a cutting-edge endeavor. But the scholarship is impressive, and the 17 chapters do sweep anew over Kate Gosselin, Desperate Housewives, Sarah Palin's grizzly bear mamas, Mad Men women, et al. In the mix, a few less-explored issues appear, for example, depictions of women in the military and Deepa Mehta's important film Water (2005), to which Lauren DeCarvalho applies Martha Nussbaum's capabilites approach. The book will introduce less experienced readers to a broad scope of women scholars and impressive analyses and documentation. Summing Up: Recommended. * CHOICE *
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About Alena Amato Ruggerio

Alena Amato Ruggerio is associate professor of communication at Southern Oregon University.
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