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Internet and Mothering

  • By: May Friedman
  • In: Encyclopedia of Motherhood
  • Edited by: Andrea O'Reilly
  • Subject:Sociology of Gender, Parenting, Maternal Health

Beginning in the late 1990s, a range of different applications of the Internet have been taken up by mothers. Maternal presence online differs both from other online interactions and from embodied contact between mothers. Furthermore, as the Internet continues to develop and evolve, specific Websites by and for mothers emerge with increasing frequency. Maternal presence is most common on the Internet in the context of mommy blogs, information sites, message boards, and social networking sites developed for mothers. These different contexts of Internet use have attracted different mothers and are characterized by different types of dialogue. Although there is a range of maternal identity represented online, the majority of mothers found on the Internet are white, middle-class, heterosexual and married.

The Internet rapidly gained in popularity ...

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