Reframing maternal subjectivities and difference: mothers and daughters in contemporary cinema

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dc.contributor.advisor Wallace, Lee en
dc.contributor.advisor Herda, Phyllis en Goines, Janice L. en 2007-08-04T09:12:17Z en 2007-08-04T09:12:17Z en 2004 en
dc.identifier THESIS 05-140 en
dc.identifier.citation Thesis (PhD--Women's Studies)--University of Auckland, 2004 en
dc.identifier.uri en
dc.description Full text is available to authenticated members of The University of Auckland only. en
dc.description.abstract Contemporary cinematic representations of mother-daughter relationships engage in a maternal discourse that frequently challenges and revises patriarchal definitions of motherhood. This study explores the paradox of maternal power through textual readings of five fictional film texts which give thematic precedence to the mother-daughter plotline, specifically Beloved (Jonathan Demme, 1998), Heavenly Creatures (Peter Jackson, 1994), Dolores Claiborne (Taylor Hackford, 1995), White Oleander(Peter Kosminsky , 2002), and Secrets and Lies (Mike Leigh, 1996). Continuing the long tradition of maternal melodrama, these films also reveal other genre affiliations and frequently incorporate female violence in order to tell the stories of mothers and daughters who transgress the normative boundaries of maternal goodness and passive femininity. As stories of female resistance to patriarchal scripts of female maturation and motherhood, these film texts all deconstruct fantasies of idealised motherhood but they also demonstrate within their narratives the persistence of matrophobic prescriptions for mother-daughter separation and maternal sacrifice. Through the incorporation of these contesting patriarchal and maternal scripts in their fictional narratives, these films create a textual space for imagining complex and diverse female subjectivities that include rather than exclude maternal subject positions. Redefining motherhood as a culturally determined practice influenced by personal choice and learned behaviours as well as larger political forces, these film texts also promote interactive communication between mothers and daughters as a means of working through the maternal enigma. Consequently, all the films under investigation can be said to participate in a maternal discourse that reframes mother-daughter separation, not as the point of ideological closure, but as the point at which the mother-daughter story begins. en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.publisher ResearchSpace@Auckland en
dc.relation.ispartof PhD Thesis - University of Auckland en
dc.relation.isreferencedby UoA99148020914002091 en
dc.rights Items in ResearchSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated en
dc.rights Restricted Item. Available to authenticated members of The University of Auckland. en
dc.rights.uri en
dc.title Reframing maternal subjectivities and difference: mothers and daughters in contemporary cinema en
dc.type Thesis en Women's Studies en The University of Auckland en Doctoral en PhD en
dc.rights.holder Copyright: The author en

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