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‘Off to the best start’? a multimodal critique of breast and formula feeding health promotional discourse

Brookes, Gavin; Harvey, Kevin; Mullany, Louise

Authors

Gavin Brookes

Kevin Harvey

Louise Mullany



Abstract

This study critically examines the multimodal discourses of baby feeding practices in contemporary health promotion in the UK. Comparing two parallel texts from the ongoing Start4life campaign (one dedicated to breastfeeding, the other to bottle/formula feeding), our multimodal critical discourse analysis identifies a series of recurring, multi-semiotic strategies through which these texts aim to promote breastfeeding as the most desirable, natural and even morally responsible method of infant nutrition. These discursive strategies, we argue, are underpinned and driven by neoliberal assumptions about infant feeding, health and risk, which fail to take into account the structural constraints that affect the take up the ‘ideal’ of breastfeeding, all the while propagating unobtainable and often contradictory notions of total motherhood and familial relations – discursive moves that can have negative consequences for the health and wellbeing of new mothers.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Dec 20, 2016
Journal Gender and Language
Print ISSN 1747-6321
Electronic ISSN 1747-633X
Publisher Equinox Publishing
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 10
Issue 3
APA6 Citation Brookes, G., Harvey, K., & Mullany, L. (2016). ‘Off to the best start’? a multimodal critique of breast and formula feeding health promotional discourse. Gender and Language, 10(3), doi:10.1558/genl.v10i3.32035
DOI https://doi.org/10.1558/genl.v10i3.32035
Keywords Infant nutrition, Breastfeeding, Motherhood, Neoliberalism, health promotion, Multimodal critical discourse analysis
Publisher URL https://journals.equinoxpub.com/index.php/GL/article/view/32035
Copyright Statement Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingh.../end_user_agreement.pdf

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Copyright Statement
Copyright information regarding this work can be found at the following address: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/end_user_agreement.pdf





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