Student Author(s)

Kelly Arnold

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Marissa Doshi, Communication

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This study identifies language used by online publication Refinery29 in their content about motherhood and career. Refinery29, per their mission statement, aims to produce articles that engage smart, driven Millennial women. In our analysis, there were numerically significantly more articles published about mothering, as compared with about careers, indicating that motherhood continues to be privileged identity as well as a space for creating new scripts for motherhood. Through qualitative textual analysis and data visualization (Voyant), I found that the main themes are celebrity as role model, use of social media to share mothering stories, and earning power. For female Millennials, the plethora of motherhood and career advice available online shapes their ideas about ideal womanhood. This analysis indicates that the discourse of “new momism” is reinforced in online publications (Douglas and Michaels, 2004). Further, the lack of explicit mentions about race and class as well as the topics highlighted show implicit assumptions about the privileging of concerns of white, middle-class women. Previous researchers have worked to examine contemporary women’s magazines and identify prevalent motherhood ideologies, yet there has been little research conducted regarding these ideologies in modern online media. The significance of these themes and their presence are discussed. Douglas, S., & Michaels, M. (2004). The new momism. In The Mommy Myth: The Idealization of Motherhood and how It has Undermined all Women. (pp. 1-27). New York, NY: Free Press.

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