Narratives of Normativity and Permissible Transgression: Mothers' Blogs About Mothering, Family and Food in Resource-Constrained Times

Heather Elliott, Corinne Squire, Rebecca O'Connell


We consider the characteristics of one form of digital narrative—the blog—and what they may offer to personal narratives about mothering, families, and food and other resources. We draw on narrative analysis of six months of posts from two blogs about feeding families, written by mothers in the context of constrained economic, time, socioemotional, and environmental resources, to make a second-order analysis of the features of blogs that operate to support or transgress normative narratives. We focus on how, on the "About Me" pages of these blogs, the relations between the written and visual narratives, and the semantic multiplicities and contradictions, the styles and the cross-platform genres of the written stories, generate both normative and transgressive narratives around mothering and family, the bloggers' own involvements with the blog, and resource issues. In conclusion, we discuss the limitations of our analysis, and how and to what extent the features of blogs on which we have focused may work to generate narratives of political positioning and action.


blogs; narrative; mothers; digital methods; food

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Copyright (c) 2017 Heather Elliott, Corinne Squire, Rebecca O'Connell

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