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The Mother of the Nation: Thatcherism, Femininity and Motherhood

mleiteBy Marianna Leite

Since Thatcher’s death, Thatcherism has received its fair share of attention from many quarters ranging from political commentators to academics. Two recent podcasts, ‘Thatcher’s Legacy: Thinking Psychosocially, across the Decades’ and ‘Thatcherism, Blairism and a Bad Week for Austerity’ discuss the symbolic significance of Thatcherism and the importance of moving beyond the contentious individual that was Margaret Thatcher towards the analysis of political and economic forces that sustain its rhetoric. Most commentators argue that Thatcherism means the use of discourse (as mere rhetoric) for the promotion of cuts, privatisation and widespread contempt for the poor. It resonates perfectly with the current politics of the coalition government as, in a rhetorical sense, it means shifting the mainstream political discussion from the ethical dimensions of austerity measures to moralistic values of socially constructed roles.

In symbolic terms, Thatcherism has been used to discredit feminism as a political project and Read more...