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Temporally inexpensive, affectively expensive: Digitally mediated maternal interpersonal ties in the perinatal months

Das, Ranjana (2018) Temporally inexpensive, affectively expensive: Digitally mediated maternal interpersonal ties in the perinatal months Communication, Culture and Critique, 11 (4). pp. 586-603.

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This article presents findings on the internet and maternal interpersonal connections in the critical ‘perinatal’ period before and immediately after childbirth. Drawing on qualitative interviews and online data from a range of digital sites, I advance the central argument that digitally mediated interpersonal connections are critical components of contemporary motherhoods, but that these ties have complex positive and less than positive nuances in the perinatal period. Unpacking this argument in three steps, I first discuss how the moral weight of motherhood in neoliberal societies, rendered particularly visible in the perinatal period, complicates a central boundary in the study of online interpersonal relationships between information and communication. Second, I note the relative significance, in emotional terms, of temporally-contained social ties in digitally mediated perinatal connections. Third, I consider how the material and emotional roles of traditionally held-to-be-important offline maternal support networks are re-negotiated, re-positioned and even bypassed through online ties.

Item Type: Article
Divisions : Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences > Department of Sociology
Authors :
Date : 14 November 2018
DOI : 10.1093/ccc/tcy029
Copyright Disclaimer : © The Author(s) 2019. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of International Communication Association. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: This article is published and distributed under the terms of the Oxford University Press, Standard Journals Publication Model ( This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Communication, Culture and Critique following peer review. The version of record [Ranjana Das, Temporally Inexpensive, Affectively Expensive: Digitally-Mediated Maternal Interpersonal Ties in the Perinatal Months, Communication, Culture and Critique, Volume 11, Issue 4, December 2018, Pages 586–603] is available online at:
Uncontrolled Keywords : motherhood, wellbeing, perinatal, mental health, digital, relationships
Depositing User : Users 8 not found.
Date Deposited : 19 Sep 2018 14:11
Last Modified : 15 Nov 2020 02:08

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