Communication Studies, Department of


Date of this Version



Published in Southern Communication Journal 81:1 (2016), pp. 49–62


Copyright © 2016 Taylor & Francis. Used by permission.


Through critique of concordance, we argue that popular U.S. newspaper articles about attachment parenting perpetuate the ideology of combative mothering, where mothers are in continuous competition with one another over parenting choices. Specifically, article writers construct a new, singular metaphorical mommy war between pro-attachment parenting and anti-attachment parenting proponents by prepackaging attachment parenting and its debate, advocating for attachment parenting through instinct and science, and rejecting attachment parenting because of harm to children, relationships, and mothers. A minority of articles, however, avoided reifying this pro-/anti-attachment parenting mommy war by exploring the complexities of parenting beyond prepackaged philosophies. We explore the implications of this new mommy war on ideologies of motherhood and the politics of choice.