Thankfulness and Hope as the Driving Emotions in Mommy Blogs: An Abstract
Women, as a market, are larger than both India and China combined, and yet many companies are not adequately understanding women (Silverstein & Sayre, 2009). This is especially true for working women. Approximately 57% of American women worked outside of the home in 2015; 24 million were mothers to at least one child under the age of 18 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2015, 2016). The idea that women who work outside the home face unique challenges compared to their male counterparts is frequently the subject of feminist theorizing. The concept of equality between the sexes is often cited in this context: from early movements to allow women into various professions to contemporary conceptions of breaking the glass ceiling and receiving equal pay for equal work (Evans, 1994; Hughes, 2002). Workplace gender equality has often been based on minimizing differences between the sexes by ensuring women are “equal” to men. As such it has been critiqued for denying women the space to express the unique challenges they often face that are different from men because this illuminates, rather than reduces, gendered differences (Smithson & Stokoe, 2005). It is crucial to understand their psychology.
The objective of this research is to gather insights regarding perspectives of working mothers as seen by their posts to online communities or “mommy blogs.” The intended contribution is to help understand women who work outside of the home (as people and as a segment of the marketplace) and how they use mommy blogs as an online community that can offer a place to vent and support for the difficult and unique challenges that working mothers face. Conceptual contributions are in the areas of role conflict and the second shift. Reasons for the need for this research include vast social and economic justifications globally.
Authors used netnography as a qualitative method to examine behavior, cultures, and social groups as seen in digital (online) environments (Kozinets, 2002). For data analysis, authors used a lexicographic semantic analysis tool called Leximancer. The analysis of the mothers’ postings reveals lower-order concepts that emerged from the netnographic data: pump, reasons, gave, thankful, past, priorities, hope, consider, and fun. These nine lower-order themes are then collapsed into three broader emerging themes: (1) sacrifices by working mothers, (2) cognitions (often self-cognitions) of working mothers, and (3) emotions felt by working mothers. The most common two emotions brought up are thankfulness and hope. The implication for marketing comes in the importance of understanding this segment of consumers so as to better provide services and products that can reinforce emotions or any related self-schemas of being hopeful and thankful. Furthermore, mommy blogs are full of influencers; therefore the content naturally fits with many digital advertisers of related products and services for these social influencers.