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Ideologies of Mothering in an Internet Forum:hurting narratives and declarative defence

Journal article
Authors Kristina Alstam
Published in Power and Education
Volume 5
Issue 1
Pages 38-51
ISSN 1757-7438
Publication year 2013
Published at Department of Social Work
Pages 38-51
Language en
Subject categories Sociology, Media and Communications, Other Social Sciences


ABSTRACT The interaction that takes place in Internet forum environments is performed through a compressed and dense form of writing and is highly dependent on the user’s rhetorical and narrative skills. This article, which uses data from a Swedish parents’ website, demonstrates the structure of aggression and defence in a conflict around appropriate mothering and seeks to demonstrate how the written subjectivity of a user relies also on particular alignments with ideologies on responsibility. The author argues that the hurting narrative, apart from using stacked-up information previously provided by other users, confiscates the dominant discursive position, thereby claiming a powerful evaluative role in relation to the counterpart. The article further argues that when accepting ideologies on responsibility, the defence of the counterpart becomes incapacitated and the protest itself is understood as a sign of discursive approval.

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