Date of Award
Master of Arts (MA)
Elizabeth Sanders Lopez
This thesis analyzes public “nurse-ins” and breastfeeding activism of the past decade, examining public breastfeeding demonstrations as an example of collective rhetoric in which the individual is empowered in its relation to the masses. The author discusses the potential of collective rhetoric to reintroduce feminist activism at a time dominated by postfeminist discourse. Staged nurse-ins force the public to confront realities of the maternal body; however, the self-proclaimed “lactivists” seldom discuss the inseparable sexuality of the breast and the underlying narrative of “natural” and “good” motherhood. Addressing Foucauldian discursive formations, the author acknowledges that even though the resistant discourse cannot exist outside of the dominant discourses that continue to act upon it, collective demonstrations nevertheless hold the power to disrupt public perception of the maternal body.
Saxon, Amy M., "The Lactating Body on Display: Collective Rhetoric and Resistant Discourse in Breastfeeding Activism" (2012). English Theses. Paper 125.