Research Futures: The language of religious motherhood blogs
Join the University of Portsmouth's Interdisciplinary Webinar Series, chaired by Leïla Choukroune, Professor of International Law and Director of the University of Portsmouth Thematic Area in Democratic Citizenship, and presented by Dr Helen Ringrow, Senior Lecturer in Communication Studies and Applied Linguistics and Associate Head Research and Innovation in the School of Languages and Applied Linguistics, University of Portsmouth.
This talk explores how discourses of motherhood are constructed by contemporary bloggers who are affiliated with particular faith groups. Motherhood blogs, like similar female-oriented texts such as internet parenting forums, have a key role to play in terms of understanding, reinforcing, and/or challenging gendered norms, both online and off. Within religious contexts especially, motherhood blogs are often regarded as appropriate activities for women — especially young stay-at-home-mothers.
This talk examines two sets of so-called ‘mommy bloggers’ from North American Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saint (‘Mormon’) and Evangelical Christian backgrounds, focusing on metaphorical language. It discusses emergent online representations of motherhood in these two internet communities whose faith groups hold broadly similar beliefs around gender and parenthood. Common metaphors of motherhood (such as journey metaphors) appear frequently in the language of both online communities, presenting motherhood as a difficult yet rewarding (and incredibly shareable) experience.
Dr Helen Ringrow is Senior Lecturer in Communication Studies and Applied Linguistics and Associate Head Research and Innovation in the School of Languages and Applied Linguistics. She has research interests in language, gender, identity, and social media. Her recent research has explored the discourse of online religious communities, with a focus on motherhood and modest fashion, and the discourse of Instagram advertising. She is the author of The Language of Cosmetics Advertising (Palgrave, 2016) and co-editor of Contemporary Media Stylistics (with Stephen Pihlaja, Bloomsbury, 2020).
Date: 14 July 2021 | Wednesday
Time: 2:00pm to 3:00pm (UK Time)
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