Representations of childless women in the Australian print media

Graham, Melissa and Rich, Stephanie 2012, Representations of childless women in the Australian print media, Feminist media studies, iFirst.

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Title Representations of childless women in the Australian print media
Author(s) Graham, Melissa
Rich, Stephanie
Journal name Feminist media studies
Season iFirst
Total pages 19
Publisher Routledge
Place of publication Abingdon, England
Publication date 2012-11-02
ISSN 1468-0777
Keyword(s) childless
print media
Summary There is an array of socially constructed life scripts which feature the motherhood role as a pinnacle for women; however, increasing numbers of women are remaining childless, violating these very basic informal morals of our society. In Australia, the political and social climate is predominantly pronatalist. Powerful discourses, produced through social, political, medical, and religious institutions, provide commentary on cultural discourses surrounding reproduction, femininity, and motherhood. The media play an important role in reinforcing and communicating these pervasive ideologies. This paper explores how childless women are represented in the Australian print media within the context of a pronatalist society. The representation of childless women was predominantly negative and characterised by reprimanding, pitying, and threatening undertones. Four main representations (sympathy worthy women; career women; the artefact of feminism; and reprimanded women) were identified but ultimately taken together they suggest that being a childless woman is an undesirable position in contemporary Australian society.
Language eng
Field of Research 200104 Media Studies
Socio Economic Objective 950204 The Media
HERDC Research category C1.1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Restricted until 2014-07-03
Copyright notice ©2012, Taylor & Francis
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Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Health and Social Development
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