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  • Author or Editor: Kinneret Lahad x
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This chapter examines the question of how age, gender and personal status intersect, as well as the ways in which they are “done” by analysing the discursive construction of midlife mothers in Denmark and Israel. Drawing on a textual analysis of online web columns and magazine articles interviewing midlife women, we explore women’s vulnerability and resilience to ageist stigmas. In this chapter we are particularly interested in how midlife mothers negotiate ageist stigmatisation and normative timelines in general and thus pave the way for alternative knowledge of ageing, age and family life. By incorporating a critical feminist approach, we argue that in both case studies, age relations and age-based hierarchies come about. We have found that both Danish and Israeli mothers increasingly seem to perceive their age as an ageing capital (Simpson, 2013) and integrate it with the good mother ideal and the regulatory ideal of intensive mothering (Hays, 1996)

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In this article, we analyse how mediated discourses of toxic friendships echo and reconstruct the category of the toxic friend. We ask: what kind of assumptions does the toxic friendship discourse draw on, and what forms of subjectivity and interpersonal relationships are encouraged? Employing a critical discourse analysis of digital texts, we argue that the discursive category of the toxic friend draws on a simplistic set of classificatory dichotomies distinguishing between the good and the toxic friend. We also suggest that the popular labelling of difficult friendships as ‘toxic’ reflects the contemporary diffusion of the notion of toxicity in contemporary public culture. We contend that this discourse reflects the discursive conflation between therapeutic culture and neoliberal wellness logic, with the figure of the toxic friend constructed in ways that support imperatives for self-care and self-governance. While much of the advice situates friendship as an important personal tie, there is very little encouragement to ‘work’ on these relationships. As such, these discourses offer a reductive, disposable approach to friendship ties that overlooks the complexities and lived experiences of friendship relations.

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