The Case for Single Motherhood: Contemporary Maternal Identities and Family Formations

Author:   Katherine Elizabeth Mack
Publisher:   The University of Alabama Press
ISBN:  

9780817361129


Pages:   192
Publication Date:   31 January 2024
Format:   Paperback
Availability:   Not yet available   Availability explained
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The Case for Single Motherhood: Contemporary Maternal Identities and Family Formations


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Overview

Delves into the rhetorical work of elective single mothers (ESMs) in the late twentieth- and early twenty-first centuries as they sought—and continue to seek—to legitimize their maternal identities and family formations. Scholars of rhetoric have largely overlooked the inherent rhetoricity of family. In The Case for Single Motherhood, Katherine Mack posits family as a central concern of rhetorical studies by reflecting on how language is used by single mothers who seek to reenvision the personal, social, and political meanings of family. Drawing on intersectional and rhetorical theories, Mack demonstrates how the category of elective single motherhood emerged in response to the historically differential treatment of “unwed mothers” along racial and class lines. Through her readings of a range of self-sponsored ESM texts—guidebooks, memoirs, and interactive digital media written by and primarily for other ESMs—and from her perspective as an elective single mother herself, Mack evaluates the rhetorical power, as well as the exclusions and hierarchies, that the ESM label effects. She analyzes how ESMs envision motherhood, visions that entail their musings about who can and should mother. Ultimately, Mack offers women who are considering nonnormative paths to motherhood a way to affirm their maternal identities and paths without disparaging others’. Scholars in the fields of rhetoric and feminist rhetorical studies will find in this volume an illuminating perspective on the rhetorical power of self-sponsored texts in particular. Crafting a methodology to identify and evaluate the goals and effects of legitimacy work and selecting sources that bring academic attention to varied genres of self-sponsored writings, Mack paves the way for future rhetorical studies of motherhood and family.

Full Product Details

Author:   Katherine Elizabeth Mack
Publisher:   The University of Alabama Press
Imprint:   The University of Alabama Press
ISBN:  

9780817361129


ISBN 10:   081736112
Pages:   192
Publication Date:   31 January 2024
Audience:   Professional and scholarly ,  Professional & Vocational
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active
Availability:   Not yet available   Availability explained
This item is yet to be released. You can pre-order this item and we will dispatch it to you upon its release.

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Reviews

"Within rhetorical studies, the book is well grounded in leading scholars in the field—Buchanan, Hundley and Hayden, Fixmer-Oraiz, Cloud—while also interweaving key motherhood studies scholars and/or related scholars across fields—O’Reilly, Hays, Douglas and Michaels, Solinger, Roberts, Collins, and Halberstam. In fact, one strength of the volume is the author’s interweaving of all these scholars in the service of understanding ESM’s rhetorical power and limits within motherhood."" - Lynn O'Brien Hallstein, author of Bikini-Ready Moms: Celebrity Profiles, Motherhood, and the Body"


Within rhetorical studies, the book is well grounded in leading scholars in the field-Buchanan, Hundley and Hayden, Fixmer-Oraiz, Cloud-while also interweaving key motherhood studies scholars and/or related scholars across fields-O'Reilly, Hays, Douglas and Michaels, Solinger, Roberts, Collins, and Halberstam. In fact, one strength of the volume is the author's interweaving of all these scholars in the service of understanding ESM's rhetorical power and limits within motherhood. - Lynn O'Brien Hallstein, author of Bikini-Ready Moms: Celebrity Profiles, Motherhood, and the Body


Author Information

Katherine Mac is professor of English at the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs. She is author of From Apartheid to Democracy: Deliberating Truth and Reconciliation in South Africa, as well as of scholarship in Rhetoric Society Quarterly, Rhetoric Review, and Reception: Texts, Readers, Audience, History.

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