The romance and science of ‘breast is best’: Discursive contradictions and contexts of breast-feeding choices

Majia Nadesan, Patty Sotirin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Scopus citations

Abstract

We argue that a woman’s decision to breast-feed or not is overdetermined by two discursive complexes we label “the romance of the natural mother” and “the science of breast-feeding.” These complexes incorporate socio-historical articulations of motherhood, female sexuality, medicine, science, and advertising. Taken together, they dictate the performative possibilities of “normal” and “moral” breast-feeding. In problematizing normal, moral articulations, we offer alternative possibilities for conceiving and performing breast-feeding.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)217-232
Number of pages16
JournalText and Performance Quarterly
Volume18
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 1998

Keywords

  • Breast-feeding
  • Female sexuality
  • Natural motherhood
  • Science

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Visual Arts and Performing Arts
  • Literature and Literary Theory

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