Constructing the attached mother in the "world's most feminist country"

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This paper explores the construction of the Icelandic mother within the discourse of attachment, on Icelandic websites offering expert advice on pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding, and care. The paper examines whether attachment theory discourse in Iceland differs from the more traditional discourse of attachment theory and specifically, if the ideas of attachment and bonding have been modernized or recycled to be more inclusive of fathers and to the promotion of equality and shared parental responsibilities. The paper argues that the maternal body is constructed as a site of production and the maternal mind as (possibly) problematic, unnatural, and pathological. The discourse of attachment present on the Icelandic parenting websites incorporates classic ideas about the primacy of the mother and the intensification of motherhood, and little effort has been made to incorporate fathers into the discourse or to include them as meaningful agents when it comes to attachment and bonding.




Símonardóttir, S. (2016). Constructing the attached mother in the “world’s most feminist country.” Women’s Studies International Forum, 56, 103–112.

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