Breastfeeding and Culture

Discourses and Representation
by Ann Marie A. Short, Abigail L. Palko & Dionne Irving
rrp $26.72

Publisher: Demeter Press

Publication Date: April 01, 2018

ISBN: 9781772581768

Binding: Kobo eBook

Availability: eBook

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For myriad reasons, breastfeeding is a fraught issue among mothers in the U.S. and other industrialized nations, and breastfeeding advocacy in particular remains a source of contention for feminist scholars and activists. Breastfeeding raises many important concerns surrounding gendered embodiment, reproductive rights and autonomy, essentializing discourses and the struggle against biology as destiny, and public policies that have the potential to support or undermine women, and mothers in particular, in the workplace. The essays in this collection engage with the varied and complicated ways in which cultural attitudes about mothering and female sexuality inform the way people understand, embrace, reject, and talk about breastfeeding, as well as with the promises and limitations of feminist breastfeeding advocacy. They attend to diffuse discourses about and cultural representations of infant feeding, all the while utilizing feminist methodologies to interrogate essentializing ideologies that suggest that women’s bodies are the “natural” choice for infant feeding. These interdisciplinary analyses, which include history, law, art history, literary studies, sociology, critical race studies, media studies, communication studies, and history, are meant to represent a broader conversation about how society understands infant feeding and maternal autonomy.