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Title: The gaps between : maternal ambivalence, intergenerational trauma, and the contemporary chick noir novel
Author: Dunne, Shawni
ISNI:       0000 0004 7654 9526
Awarding Body: University of Huddersfield
Current Institution: University of Huddersfield
Date of Award: 2018
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This project comprises of a creative piece of extended fiction entitled The Gaps Between, alongside a reflective and critical exegesis exploring the contemporary chick noir novel, perceptions of maternal ambivalence, and female mental health as a result of intergenerational trauma in society today. This exegesis analyses how the image of the benevolent mother figure has become a limiting and damaging social construct, and through widely practice-based research I have explored and identified how fiction, the media and society feed into this stereotype. I address the taboo of ambivalence that still prevails in contemporary western society and the stigmas surrounding maternal mental health that lead women who struggle to feel like they are failing the image of the ‘good mother’. By decoding the notion of intergenerational trauma, I identify how chick noir is changing the face of popular fiction and opening up a new dialogue for female characters. Drawing upon extensive research and further reading, I discuss how the emerging genre of chick noir has arisen as a response to the oppression of mothers, wives and women in general. Often dealing with women in situations where they are marginalised and endangered within the home, chick noir presents a journey from repression to power, breaking free from the confines of tradition to place women as in control of their own destiny, whatever the consequences may be. Finding its place within the genre, my novel, The Gaps Between,represents an original contribution to knowledge by exposing the idealised image of the mother as nothing more than an unachievable dream, fraught with conflicts, extremes of emotion and failings of expectation. As well as offering a haunting vision of ambivalent conflict between mother and child, The Gaps Between highlights and addresses stigmas of female mental health,that are still widely misunderstood, doubted and shunned by society today, as well as a haunting and terrifying vision of trauma played out across generations.
Supervisor: Malay, Jessica Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: BF Psychology ; PR English literature