Mothering through Precarity: Women's Work and Digital Media

Mothering through Precarity: Women's Work and Digital Media

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Overview

In Mothering through Precarity Julie A. Wilson and Emily Chivers Yochim explore how working- and middle-class mothers negotiate the difficulties of twenty-first-century mothering through their everyday engagement with digital media. From Facebook and Pinterest to couponing, health, and parenting websites, the women Wilson and Yochim study rely upon online resources and communities for material and emotional support. Feeling responsible for their family's economic security, these women often become "mamapreneurs," running side businesses out of their homes. They also feel the need to provide for their family's happiness, making successful mothering dependent upon economic and emotional labor. Questioning these standards of motherhood, Wilson and Yochim demonstrate that mothers' work is inseparable from digital media as it provides them the means for sustaining their families through such difficulties as health scares, underfunded schools, a weakening social safety net, and job losses.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780822363477
Publisher: Duke University Press Books
Publication date: 03/24/2017
Pages: 232
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

Julie A. Wilson is Assistant Professor of Communication Arts and Theatre at Allegheny College.

Emily Chivers Yochim is Associate Professor of Communication Arts and Theatre at Allegheny College and the author of Skate Life: Re-Imagining White Masculinity.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments  ix
Introduction. The Digital Mundane: Mothering, Media, and Precarity  1
1. Mother Loads: Why "Good" Mothers Are Anxious  31
2. Mamapreneurialism: Family Appreciation in the Digital Mundane  65
3. Digital Entanglements: Staying Happy in the Mamasphere  103
4. Individualized Solidarities: Privatizing Happiness Together  137
Conclusion. Socializing Happiness (or, Why We Wrote an Unhappy Book)  169
Afterword. Packets and Pockets  185
Notes  189
Bibliography  205
Index  213

What People are Saying About This

Reality Gendervision: Sexuality and Gender on Transatlantic Reality Television - Brenda R. Weber

"Julie A. Wilson and Emily Chivers Yochim provide a highly compelling commentary on the state of motherhood in the present moment, infused as it is with technologies and concerns about emotional and economic precarity. Making a strong (if depressing) case for the failure of the nuclear family project in the context of neoliberalism, their beautifully executed work helps us to think about labor and affect theory in new ways."

Authentic™: The Politics of Ambivalence in a Brand Culture - Sarah Banet-Weiser

"Motherhood and mothering—a vexed feminist issue, a central form of invisible labor along vectors of race and class, a capitalist invention, a digital community, a source of affect, love, and often pain. The remarkable Mothering through Precarity manages to parse all these dimensions and more, with insight, intelligence, and compassion. Connecting capitalist economies with networks of care, Julie A. Wilson and Emily Chivers Yochim have produced a brilliant, compelling book, one that refuses easy generalizations about what it means to be a mother in uncertain neoliberal times."

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