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Title: The Identity of Czech Single Women in the Late Modern Era
Author: Chrastilova, Leona
ISNI:       0000 0001 3548 9131
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2007
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This thesis examines the identity of never-married and childless women in the Czech Republic as it has undergone social and political changes since the fall of communism. Statistical data have shown that the number of women who remain unmarried and childless into their thirties has increased dramatically since 1989. This thesis explains the extent to which individualisation theories of late modern society describe the social structure in which Czech never-married and childless women live and whether the new social discourse of individualism has affected their self-perception. This thesis also investigates the process of identity formation of these women to understand whether their identities reflect a move away from traditional values of motherhood and marriage. Using qualitative interviewing and the grounded theory approach, I interviewed 52 Czech never-married and childless women of various ages and social backgrounds utilising indirect, open-ended questions encouraging a discussion of their perspectives upon their self-understanding. The interviews demonstrated that the women establish their private selfconcept on the basis of their lived experience of primarily a traditional femininity focused on marriage and motherhood, and mediated sources, which emphasise a rhetoric of individualistic choice. This private self-concept therefore consists of both traditional and individualised self-images. As they find it difficult to express publicly the full multiplicity and complexity of their private selves, the women pragmatically choose to emphasise their individualistic self-image in response to which they receive positive feedback from others. The women recognise, however, that in limiting the expression of their traditional self-images in public they are lacking authenticity because their private self-understanding is based on both self-images. The identity of the single women thus suggests that the individualistic rhetoric in society affects the identity of the women but its influence is not limitless as it competes with continuing and rejuvenated traditional values.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available