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Troubling MotherhoodMaternality in Global Politics$
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Lucy B. Hall, Anna L. Weissman, and Laura J. Shepherd

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780190939182

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190939182.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 15 May 2021

Celebrity Global Motherhood

Celebrity Global Motherhood

Maternal Care and Cosmopolitan Obligation

(p.233) Chapter 14 Celebrity Global Motherhood
Troubling Motherhood

Annika Bergman Rosamond

Oxford University Press

This chapter centers on global motherhood, a conceptual label that defines the ethical underpinnings of female celebrities’ undertakings beyond borders. The analysis of global motherhood is located within the ethics of care, noting that global expressions of care ethics are useful for thinking through celebrities’ maternal practices beyond borders. The research focuses on the maternal practices and discourses of Cate Blanchett (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees [UNHCR] Goodwill Ambassador since 2016) and Angelina Jolie (UNHCR Special Envoy since 2012), in particular their tendency to relate to refugees through their personal experiences as mothers, their sense of cosmopolitan obligation, and the racial implications of their global engagements. The chapter advances the argument that cosmopolitan thought is abstract, is gendered, and prioritizes men’s moral reasoning rather than women’s ethical stories and experiences. Nonetheless, cosmopolitanism can provide fertile ground for studying celebrity humanitarianism because celebrities themselves resort to cosmopolitan-inflected language in describing their activism. Moreover, the study of the other-regarding acts of individual celebrities can reduce the abstraction inherent in cosmopolitanism. These arguments are sustained through a discursive analysis of texts that center on celebrity global motherhood, as performed by Angelina Jolie and Cate Blanchett in the area of refugee policy.

Keywords:   Celebrity, global motherhood, maternal care, cosmopolitanism, UNHCR, refugees

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