Pilotstudie: Ensamma mammor i svensk dagspress

Disa Bergnehr and Helena Wahlström Henriksson (2021) “Hardworking Women: Representations of Lone Mothers in the Swedish Daily Press”, Feminist Media Studies, 21:1


Lone mothers are a diverse group but it has been argued in the previous research that they tend to be homogenised. This article explores representations of single mothers in Swedish newspapers. Material from the two largest morning papers and the two largest tabloids was collected from the years 2015–2017.

The results of the study suggest that although the newspaper representations do not fully reflect the diversity of social realities, there are indeed varying images of lone mothers in the sample. A recurring representation is as a comparatively poor and hardworking — even heroic — woman, who in political argumentation is referred to as someone in need of societal support and policy reforms.

A less frequent representation, that often occurs in lengthy, in-depth pieces, is the affluent official person who despite her prosperity struggles with combining single (good)motherhood with her career, or the middle-class woman who becomes a lone mother via assisted reproductive technologies.

Teenage motherhood (i.e., age), race/ethnicity, sexuality, and welfare dependence are seldom, if at all, alluded to. There is no vilification or condemnation of the lone mother, as has been found in research on other national contexts.

Senast uppdaterad: 2022-02-04