Meanings of lone motherhood within a broader family context

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In this paper, the theoretical approach to the concept of lone motherhood is adopted from 'new' family sociology where families are understood to be dynamic processes constituted by webs of relationships. I analyse life stories written by lone mothers in order to examine the meanings that they give to their lone motherhood in relation to their larger family context. This approach reveals that, along with the concept 'family', the category 'lone motherhood' can be questioned. The life stories show that as with all families, the representations of 'the lone mother family' vary. Lone motherhood emerges less as a distinct family form and more as an experience coloured by the lone mother's position in a web of family relationships, as well as her place in her broader personal, social and historical context.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)390-436
Number of pages46
Journalsociological review
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2004


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