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An emotional estate: representations of pregnancy in the media

This article examines the representations of pregnancy in the magazine Revista da Gestante, particularly the notion that this is a process that may be to a large extent controlled by pregnant women. In this magazine, articles present a prescriptive discourse, with "tips" to a "happy and calm" pregnancy. They focus on the idea that pregnancy has an emotional nature, especially due to the frequent sentiments of fear and anxiety. By analyzing these emotions, I argue that pregnant women are seen as autonomous agents who are relatively isolated from their social circle, except for their relations with medical specialists. Self control during pregnancy, thus, becomes an issue, reinforcing a wider concern with emotional control common in modern western societies.

Pregnancy; Mass Media; Emotions

Núcleo de Estudos de Gênero - Pagu Universidade Estadual de Campinas, PAGU Cidade Universitária "Zeferino Vaz", Rua Cora Coralina, 100, 13083-896, Campinas - São Paulo - Brasil, Tel.: (55 19) 3521 7873, (55 19) 3521 1704 - Campinas - SP - Brazil