Women and lone parenthood : an account of the experiences and feelings of divorced and separated lone mothers
This thesis is the result of research undertaken for the Doctoral Programme in British Policy Studies at the University of Sheffield, which consisted of one year's taught courses, and two year's research. It is an inter-disciplinary piece of work, drawing on both sociological and social policy literature and deals with women's experiences of marriage, and then lone parenthood, which forms the major part of the thesis, Most of the content is reproduced from and arises from interviews conducted with women while doing fieldwork associated with the research, The thesis illustrates how despite the negative aspects of lone parenthood, such as financial deprivation and loneliness, there are still postive aspects, and women make gains that they would not. give up easily, In addition, dependency is one of the issues covered in the thesis; during marrriage, and as a lone parent, both on the state and on the family. It is suggested that what are in fact occurring are relationships of interdependency rather than dependency, and that despite having negative connotations, being dependent on the state and/or the family, can in fact be part of the process of becoming independent, The thesis then seeks to allow women's own experiences to be heard as far as possible in their own words. From this it is learned that women and their children can gain from lone parenthood, although they could achieve more with additional support and encouragement from the state, and that the negativity surrounding the concept of dependency needs to be challenged.