Using a dialogic lens, this study investigated identity constructions of birth mothers articulated in their online adoption stories. Birth mother stories were characterized by two identity constructions, both of which resisted the dominant discourse of intensive mothering, which positions them as bad mothers. Stories depicted birth mothers either as good mothers or as agentic and self-fulfi lling non-mothers. These respective identity constructions counter the dominant discourse either by working within it to reappropriate the components of good mothering or by undermining its legitimacy by shedding the identity of “mother” altogether.
“Birth Mothers Are Not Bad People”: A Dialogic Analysis of Online Birth Mother Stories
Leslie A. Baxter, Department of Communication Studies, University of Iowa, Correspondence to Leslie A. Baxter, Department of Communication Studies, University of Iowa, IA 52242-1498, USA. E-mail: email@example.com.
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Leslie A. Baxter, Kristina M. Scharp, Bryan Asbury, Amber Jannusch, Kristen M. Norwood; “Birth Mothers Are Not Bad People”: A Dialogic Analysis of Online Birth Mother Stories. Qualitative Communication Research 1 March 2012; 1 (1): 53–82. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/qcr.2012.1.1.53
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