Representation of motherhood in Lithuanian media

Gintarė Kavaliūnaitė-Amelyushkina

Summary

 

The object of the work is the concept of motherhood in Lithuanian society. The purpose is to explore the representation of motherhood in Lithuanian media.

The analysis of specialized magazines and web-sites has shown that the representation of motherhood in Lithuanian media is traditional and patriarchal. The woman is expected to sacrifice her professional career, ambitions in order to take care of the child properly. Problems and difficult questions related to motherhood are ignored; the diversity of motherhood not represented. The medical experts and consultants in the comments also represent the patriarchal attitude towards motherhood. The biological argument of maternal instinct is still popular in the discourse of mother and child related psychology. The role of the father is presented quite fragmentically. The father risks gaining female qualities in the eyes of society, if he becomes more active in the family life.


A conflict deriving from the discrepancy of the image presented in the media and the real life is observed. Analysis of the specialized web-sites has shown that the readers often discuss the traditional views presented by the author, in the comments to the article. The mothers state that current requirements of the traditional motherhood are not relevant in today‘s life, when the mother has many possibilities to work and study. There is a discontent with the passive role of the father in the family. Those are the signals that representation of motherhood in the media is not so relevant anymore, that the mothers are not satisfied with oversimplified representations and superficial answers.

The transformation of the representation of motherhood in Lithuanian media is taking place very slowly. There is a tendency to depersonalize mothers. This is due to stronger specialization of the media. On the other hand, a bigger diversity of images of motherhood is also appearing. The internet media is inclined to explore the problems related to motherhood deeper. Also the printed press becomes more tolerant towards nontraditional images of motherhood and fatherhood, as a reaction to new economic reality.