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Film, Mothers in

  • By: Sarah E. Boslaugh
  • In: Encyclopedia of Motherhood
  • Edited by: Andrea O'Reilly
  • Subject:Sociology of Gender, Parenting, Maternal Health

Motherhood has provided subject matter for many movies. Not surprisingly movie directors usually prefer dramatic stories with lots of conflict and tales of illegitimacy, abandonment, maternal cruelty, and the like provide more exciting material than happy families living ordinary lives.

So while no one should take the portrayals of mothers in movies as representing the truth about the real state of motherhood in any particular time and place, movies are fascinating cultural documents which can offer a window into a particular historical era by telling us what representations of motherhood people were willing to pay to watch on the big screen. The content presented in films has also been affected at times by censorship such as that imposed by the Motion Picture Code in the United ...

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