With pain there is hope
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The national conversation about working mothers and their place in society has been long, intense, and fraught with contradiction. These women are caught between the cultural ideal of nurturing domesticity on one hand, and economic reality and personal ambition on the other. Grounded in British cultural studies and feminist theory, this thesis explores this tension by examining the representations of working mothers on ABC’s Brothers & Sisters, a popular television drama. The findings suggest that these representations are messy and at times, contradictory, and that they both challenge and uphold traditional gender roles. The study’s findings are placed within contemporary social and cultural discourses to suggest the ways that the fictional characters are used to humanize the confusing position many women find themselves in today. Limitations and opportunities for future research are also discussed.