Motherhoods, Markets and Consumption : The Making of Mothers in Contemporary Western Cultures book cover
1st Edition

Motherhoods, Markets and Consumption
The Making of Mothers in Contemporary Western Cultures

ISBN 9780415516495
Published September 20, 2013 by Routledge
280 Pages 7 B/W Illustrations

FREE Standard Shipping
USD $190.00

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

It takes more than a baby to make a mother, and mothers make more than babies. Bringing together a range of international studies, Motherhoods, Markets and Consumption examines how marketing and consumer culture constructs particular images of what mothers are, what they should care about and how they should behave; exploring how women's use of consumer goods and services shapes how they mother as well as how they are seen and judged by others. Combining personal accounts from many mothers with different theoretical perspectives, this book explores:

  • How advertising, media and consumer culture contribute to myths and stereotypes concerning good and bad mothers
  • How particular consumer choices are bound up with women’s identities as mothers
  • The role of consumption for women entering different phases of their mothering lives: such as pregnancy, early motherhood, and the "empty nest"

Table of Contents

1. The Making of Mothers (Stephanie O'Donohoe, Margaret Hogg, Pauline Maclaran, Lydia Martens and Lorna Stevens)  Part I: Motherhood as an Ideological, Mediated Project  2. Motherhood in the Movies, 1942-2010: Social Class Mobility and Economic Power (Elizabeth C. Hirschman)  3. Designing Mothers and the Market: Social Class and Material Culture (Alison J. Clarke)  4. How to be a Mother: Expert Advice and the Material Subject (Mary Jane Kehily)  5. Negotiations of Motherhood: Between Ideals and Practice (Malene Gram and Helle Pederson)  Part II: Feeding Motherhood  6. "It won't do her any Harm" they said, "Or they wouldn't put it on the Market": Infant Weaning, Markets and Mothers' Narratives of Trust (Julia Keenan and Helen Stapleton)  7. Contesting Food: Contesting Mothering? (Bente Halkier)  8. Food, Cooking and Motherhood amongst Bosnian Refugees in Sweden (Helene Brembeck)  9. Images of Motherhood: Food Advertising in Good Housekeeping Magazine, 1950-2010 (David Marshall, Margaret Hogg, Teresa Davis, Tanja Schneider and Alan Petersen)  Part III: Motherhood, Consumption and Transitions  10. Bouncing Back: Reclaiming the Body from Pregnancy (Lisa O’Malley and Maurice Patterson)  11. Managing Pregnancy Work: Consumption, Emotion and Embeddedness (Caroline Gatrell)  12. Engaging with the Maternal: Tentative Mothering Acts and the Props of Performance (Tina Miller)  13. Mothers and their Empty Nests: Employing Consumption Practices to Negotiate a Major Life Transition (Carolyn F. Curasi, Pauline Maclaran and Margaret Hogg)  14. Whose Work is it Anyway?: The Shifting Dynamics of Accountability and Responsibility in Family Mealtime Practices (Benedetta Cappellini and Elizabeth Parsons)  Part IV: Consumption and Contested Motherhood Identities  15. Mothering, Poverty and Consumption (Lisa Glass, Kathy Hamilton and Katherine Trebeck)  16. On Markets and Motherhood: The Case of American Mothers of Children Adopted from China (Amy Traver)  17. Spectacular Pregnancy Loss: The Public Private Lives of the Santorums and Duggars at the Intersection of Politics, Religion and Tabloid Culture (Linda Layne)  18. Pregnancy, Privacy and Personhood in the Consumer Socialization of Expectant Mothers (The VOICE Group)

View More



Stephanie O’Donohoe is Professor of Advertising and Consumer Culture at the University of Edinburgh, UK

Margaret Hogg is Fulgoni Professor of Consumer Behaviour and Marketing at Lancaster University Management School , UK

Pauline Maclaran is Professor of Marketing and Consumer Research at Royal Holloway, University of London, UK

Lydia Martens is Senior Lecturer in Sociology at Keele University, UK

Lorna Stevens is Senior Lecturer in Marketing at the University of the West of Scotland, UK


This is a timely volume that nurtures a nuanced understanding of the ways that cultures, markets, marketing and consumption "give birth" to experiences of motherhood. For established and aspiring scholars interested in the intersection of gender, consumption, and markets, this book provides an invaluable resource.

Eileen Fischer, York University, Canada

What does motherhood mean, and how does contemporary culture understand it? This comprehensive volume explores these compelling questions. Its expert roster of multidisciplinary, multinational contributors offers a thought-provoking panoply of perspectives on the experiences and expressions of motherhood around the world.     

Cele Otnes, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA

This book is essential reading for anyone wishing to explore and understand the multifaceted links between markets and motherhood, and I wholeheartedly recommend it.

Stefania Borghini, Bocconi University, Italy

With its carefully researched and thoughtfully composed essays, Motherhood, Markets and Consumption demonstrates the depth and ongoing promise of interpretive consumer research. Under the evident, excellent direction of the editors, the book is sure to inspire new pathways of exploration into the politics, economics and pragmatics of gendered, maternal consumption and in its many expressions.

Daniel Thomas Cook, Rutgers University, Camden, USA

A much needed book finally arrives. Five eminent scholars have assembled a collection that explores critically motherhood in relation to markets and consumption. We welcome this volume both for its intellectual content and potential impact on the world of practice.

Alladi Venkatesh, University of California, USA