Reviews of Homeward Bound

“3.5 out of 4 stars” - People Magazine                                                               “The brilliance of Emily Matchar’s new book is that it exhaustively describes what disillusioned workers are opting into: a slower, more sustainable, and more self-sufficient lifestyle that’s focused on the home. Matchar synthesizes dozens of trend stories … into a single, compelling narrative about the resurgence of domesticity….Refreshing.” -The New Republic                                                       "[P]rovocatively explores what the movement says about the role of women in society today.” – The New Yorker                                                                       "I unreservedly loved it…It’s empathetic and funny and thoughtful and smart, and I encourage all of you to read it."– The Hairpin                                                         “Cogently argues that choosing a more hands-on, DIY lifestyle – family farming, canning, crafting, can, without sacrificing feminism’s hard-won gains, improve on an earlier time when ‘people lived more lightly on the earth and relied less on corporations, and family and community came first.’” - ELLE                                                               “[I]ntelligent and insightful...essential reading.” - Christianity Today                                                       “A lively and perceptive reporter… a valuable and astute assessment.”—Publishers Weekly                                                         “A well-researched look at the resurgence of home life…. Offers intriguing insight into the renaissance of old-fashioned home traditions.”— Kirkus Reviews

What is New Domesticity?

This blog is a look at the social movement I call ‘New Domesticity’ – the fascination with reviving “lost” domestic arts like canning, bread-baking, knitting, chicken-raising, etc. Why are women of my generation, the daughters of post-Betty Friedan feminists, embracing the domestic tasks that our mothers and grandmothers so eagerly shrugged off? Why has the image of the blissfully domestic supermom overtaken the Sex & the City-style single urban careerist as the media’s feminine ideal? Where does this movement come from? What does it mean for women? For families? For society?                                                                                     My book, Homeward Bound: Why Women Are Embracing the New Domesticity, which explores New Domesticity in greater depth, will be published by Simon & Schuster in May 2013.

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The face of mom blogs


The face of mom blogging? / via Babble

The excellent Sociological Images blog had an interesting piece this week on “social privilege and mom blogging,” written in response to Babble’s “top 100 mom blogs” list. The post mainly focused on how white, middle-class mothers were vastly over-represented on the list (though I’d wager this is because white, middle-class mothers are vastly over-represented in the Blogosphere in general).  Author Christie Barcelos writes:

[W]hile some of the selected blogs do offer narratives that deviate from traditional ideas about mothering and motherhood (for example, several blogs discuss mental health issues, the struggles of parenting, and forming blended families), they nonetheless reproduce a narrow image of who mothers are, what they look like, and what they do.

As I’ve mentioned before, I think mom bloggers are writing the kind of everyday family history that historians will be poring over in 200 years the way today’s historians pore over Colonial-era women’s diaries, to see how “real people” lived. So sometimes I wonder what it means that so many of these blogs are written by white, middle-class stay-at-home mothers. Additionally, I wonder what it means for today’s blog readers that so many bloggers come from a fairly narrow slice of life – via blogs, we get lots of peaks into the internal life of stay-at-home moms, but few peaks into the internal lives of, say, CEOs.

3 comments to The face of mom blogs

  • It probably doesn’t mean much since most of the readers probably fall into the same category! ;)

  • Susie

    Thank you for this post! I love reading blogs, particularly crafty ones but I’m getting extremely weary and bored of the same demographics: white, upper middle class, usually very religious. All of them are starting to look alike. I’m finding more and more, I can’t relate to these women. I’m black, poor and atheist. I can’t jet off to Puerto Rico at the drop of a hat because I have a Life List and a sponsor. I can’t spend all damned day making twee pointless valentine’s crafts for my son’s class or sewing Anthropologie-like clothes. It’s becoming very alienating.

    Also, it’s kind of annoying that their list of 100 best mommy bloggers features the same damned women who write or who’ve written for their website. It’s like high school all over again with the most popular kids who run the yearbook.