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Jessica Rodríguez Colón, IDSVA





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At the present two foremost studies, the Annenberg Report and CARD analyze the inclusion or exclusion of underrepresented communities in film and television in US American media, both conclude there is an epidemic of representation, which includes the invisibility and misrepresentation of characters and the narratives that surround them. This epidemic of representation has further the displacement of mothers in U.S. Media. In relation to this latter point, Alison Stone and EtiWade provide insight on maternal subjectivity and the gaze of the mother. bell hooks questions parental roles and challenges Laura Mulvey’s male gaze theory and feminist critique with her oppositional gaze and a critical lens of feminist theory, by including the voice and experiences of women who had been placed in the margins, while Gwendolyn Foster examines possible tools to decolonize the gaze. From such starting points, this project focuses on how the culture of film has created a Gaze Economy that influences economic structures in the United States of America, from the labor market to the political economies that shape our view of others and our subjectivity, specifically of the mother, from an object to a subject. I define gaze economy as the constant flux of exchange between the one who sees and the one who is being seeing. Such models are hegemonic constructions which lead to perceptions of the judgment of others, the self by others, and the self by the self. In addition, the project introduces the concept of (m)other as the mothers who are grouped outside of the dominant maternal discourse, but whom should be considered as belonging within. Furthermore, this project presents the genealogy of(m)others and explores how the narratives, the representations, the misrepresentations and the absent representations of some characters of mothers, expand the culture of (m)others by furthering their conditions as an ostracized group. The main line of inquiry is whether films influence the societal judgment of others, particularly of ALL mothers? If so, how and who places such judgment? Is it the mother upon herself or a mother upon another mother? The findings of this project contribute to the film and media theory critique of the representation of mothers and the epidemic of invisibility of underrepresented groups. Furthermore, at the present, the project has deconstructed the narratives, performances, and characterizations of mothers in a leading role in the top 25 films from 2000 to 2019 in the United States of America to propose an extension of the feminist critique of such.


Arts and Humanities | Film and Media Studies | Philosophy | Women's Studies


Institute for Doctoral Studies in the Visual Arts


Portland ME

Displacement of (M)others in U.S. Media: Gazing at the Impact on maternal identities of ‘other’ subjectivities in Twenty-First Century U.S. Films‍



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