Bringing forward an interpretive account that improves our understandings of contemporary (digital) media cultures means building on collective, contextual, dynamic constructions of realities. Considering the pervasiveness of TikTok and the platform’s implications for audience and digital cultures research, it is relevant to interpret local dynamics and discourses. Beyond the consideration of raw data like metrics such as number of followers, likes, and comments our account is framed by interpretive epistemologies, and follows an anthropological understanding of visual and textual analysis. Here we analyze both visual and textual discourses on peruvian TikTok as sociocultural processes to reflect on popular media cultures and contribute to media sociology and anthropology. This study examines videos and user comments around the content of creator @zagaladas −who uploads humorous, parodic clips of himself enacting his mother− to better understand how motherhood is articulated, exposed, criticized, accepted, and contested. By identifying explicit depictions and implicit norms present in viewer comments and portrayed in the creator’s narrative, we look at both generalizable and vernacular notions. What do these visual discourses say about emic notions and understandings of family, motherhood, and womanhood? How are representations and identification practices anchored through humor, self-deprecation, and relatability? How do subjectivities as madre Latina, madre peruana and madre gringa are performed, re-enacted and (de)legitimized?

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