THE DIGITAL MUNDANE
1 Throughout the book, names of people and places, as well as informant biographi-
cal and narrative details, have been altered to preserve anonymity.
2 In her history of “the myths of motherhood,” Shari L. Thurer writes, “The vulner-
ability of children makes us fervently want to be our best selves, to embody tender
nurturance and sweet concern. . . . [H]ow our children turn out has become the
final judgment on our lives.” Myths of Motherhood, xiii.
3 See, for example, Douglas and Michaels, Mommy Myth; and Hays, Cultural Contra-
dictions of Motherhood.
4 Cooper, Cut Adrift, 23. Cooper argues that mothering today figures as a security
project. Specifically, for middle-class families in particu lar , this security project is
about “holding on” as women deal with job losses, debt, and increasing levels of
5 The project builds on research Julie conducted in graduate school with her advisor,
Dr. Laurie Ouellette, on Dr. Phil’s multimedia self-help empire. See Ouellette and
Wilson, “Women’s Work.”
6 Ang, “Ethnography and Radical Contextualism,” 250. In addition to Ang’s work,
we also have in mind that of Janice Radway. For methodological discussions,
see Ang, “Ethnography and Radical Contextualism,” and Radway, “Hegemony of
7 We interviewed three mothers who blog. Two of these women are discussed in
chapter 3, the chapter that focuses most heavily on digital media, in the section
entitled “Commune.” Otherwise, all of the mothers in this study hail from either
the Hugo or Ryeland areas.
8 Bird, Audience in Everyday Life.
9 Couldry, Why Voice Matters, 13.
10 Bird, “Are We All Producers?”
11 On “nonmedia people,” see Couldry, “Playing for Celebrity.”
12 Our work aligns with Valerie Walkerdine’s sensibility: “what is important to me,”
she writes, “is to be able to talk not about subcultures or re sis tance, or an audience