The Motherhood Business: Consumption, Communication, and Privilege, 2nd Edition Front Cover

The Motherhood Business: Consumption, Communication, and Privilege, 2nd Edition


The Motherhood Business is a piercing collection of ten original essays that reveal the rhetoric of the motherhood industry. Focusing on the consumer life of mothers and the emerging entrepreneurship associated with motherhood, the collection considers how different forms of privilege (class, race, and nationality) inform discourses about mothering, consumption, mobility, and leisure.

The Motherhood Business follows the harried mother’s path into the anxious maelstrom of intelligent toys, healthy foods and meals, and educational choices. It also traces how some enterprising mothers leverage cultural capital and rhetorical vision to create thriving baby- and child-based businesses of their own, as evidenced by the rise of mommy bloggers and “mompreneurs”over the last decade.

Starting with the rapidly expanding global fertility market, The Motherhood Business explores the intersection of motherhood, consumption, and privilege in the context of fertility tourism, international adoption, and transnational surrogacy. The synergy between motherhood and the marketplace demonstrated across the essays affirms the stronghold of “intensive mothering ideology” in decisions over what mothers buy and how they brand their businesses even as that ideology evolves. Across diverse contexts, the volume also identifies how different forms or privilege shape how mothers construct their identities through their consumption and entrepreneurship.

Although social observers have long commented on the link between motherhood and consumerism, little has been written within the field of rhetoric. Penetrating and interdisciplinary, The Motherhood Business illuminates how consumer culture not only shapes contemporary motherhood but also changes in response to mothers who constitute a driving force of the economy.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. The Golden Egg: The Business of Making Mothers through Egg Donation – Charlotte Kroløkke
Chapter 2. Race(ing) to the Baby Market: The Political Economy of Overcoming Infertility – K. Animashaun Ducre
Chapter 3. A Baby “Made in India”: Motherhood, Consumerism, and Privilege in Transnational Surrogacy – Karen Hvidtfeldt Madsen
Chapter 4. “We Were Introduced to Foods I Never Even Heard of”: Parents as Consumers on Reality Television – Cynthia Gordon
Chapter 5. Cultivating Community within the Commercial Marketplace: Blurred Boundaries in the “Mommy” Blogosphere – Jennifer L. Borda
Chapter 6. Mompreneurs: Homemade Organic Baby Food and the Commodification of Intensive Mothering – Kara N. Dillard
Chapter 7. Maternal Crime in a Cathedral of Consumption – Sara Hayden
Chapter 8. “Don’t Worry, Mama Will Fix It!”: Playing with the Mama Myth in Video Games – Shira Chess
Chapter 9. Motherhood and the Necessity of Invention: The Possibilities of Play in a Culture of Consumption – Christine Harold
Chapter 10. Choosing to Consume: Race, Education, and the School Voucher Debate – Lisa A. Flores

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