by Amanda Parrish Morgan
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Pub Date 20 Oct 2022 | Archive Date 22 Oct 2022
An eye-opening look at strollers and what they reveal about our attitudes toward parenthood and children.
Among the many things expectant parents are told to buy, none is more symbolic of status and parenting philosophy than the stroller. Although its association with wealth dates back to the invention of the first pram in the 1700s, in recent decades, four-figure strollers have become not just status symbols but cultural identifiers.
There are sleek jogging strollers for serious athletes, impossibly compact strollers for parents determined to travel internationally with pre-ambulatory children, and those featuring a ride-on kick board or second, less “babyish” seat, designed with older siblings in mind. Despite the many models available, we are all familiar with the image of a harried mother struggling to use a stroller of any kind in a public space that does not accommodate it. Meanwhile, anti-stroller evangelists fervently preach the gospel of baby wearing and attachment parenting. As Amanda Parrish Morgan shows, opinions about this object reveal deeper attitudes about how we believe parents and children ought to move through the world.
This book is the latest in the Object Lessons series. Published in association with The Atlantic, it explores the hidden lives of ordinary things and what they can teach us about ourselves and the modern world.
“Part object history, part capitalist critique, this is a consistently acute and deeply felt depiction of the pleasures, traps, thrills, and dangers of early parenthood. Stroller compellingly depicts the history and taxonomy of this most weighty and unruly device.”—Lynn Steger Strong, author of Want
"Designed objects tell stories, and the stroller is no different—except perhaps that it's a typology that has received little sustained critical framing until this text. A compelling writer, Parrish Morgan deftly weaves together conversations around aspiration, accessibility, and aesthetics as they relate to this accouterment of modern parenthood and posits the stroller as a complex and sometimes confounding topic worthy of our attention and inquiry. An immensely readable volume."—Michelle Millar Fisher and Amber Winick, authors of Designing Motherhood: Things That Make and Break Our Births
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