Introduction: Family in Crisis—The Rise of Surrogacy and Its Impact on Popular Culture

  • Lulu Le Vay
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Science and Popular Culture book series (PSSPC)


This introductory chapter explores the importance of TV on popular culture in relation to evolving media platforms, consumer practices and its interaction with modern politics—in specific relation to how normative ideologies of family and motherhood are being continually perpetuated. Here, it is made clear that this book sets out to show that such recycling of norms through TV storylines are an anxious response to increasing infertility and alternative family structures enabled through reproductive technologies. Also mentioned here is why this project focusses on the reception rather than the production of the texts. The author will give an overview of the methods used (textual analysis and audience work) why they have been used in relation to the analytical methods (queer theory, genre analysis), and how the combination of these methods and analytical approaches offer a unique feminist perspective for TV studies, specifically in the exploration of how ideologies of motherhood, normative family and sexuality are articulated through these contemporary and popular TV storylines. In addition, this foundational chapter also explores how nineteenth-century notions of family and motherhood resurface through the narratives of these modern TV shows. The author will argue here the importance of exposing what these texts ‘speak’ about the historical and political context of the time. The focus here will be on the reproductive politics in America and Australia, in relation to the texts under analysis. As a lead into the analytical chapters, the author will set out an overview of the texts that have selected for analysis. Here it will be made clear that both The Handmaid’s Tale and Top of the Lake: China Girl are shows that came out after the ethnographic research had been completed and explain why it was decided drama as a genre category was omitted for analysis. These two texts will be explored fully in Chapter  6, in the context of the core of the themes that have emerged through the research.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lulu Le Vay
    • 1
  1. 1.LondonUK

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