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Single by Chance, Mothers by ChoiceHow Women are Choosing Parenthood without Marriage and Creating the New American Family$
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Rosanna Hertz

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195179903

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195179903.001.0001

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Introduction

Introduction

Recycling and Reconstituting Families

Chapter:
(p.138) Introduction
Source:
Single by Chance, Mothers by Choice
Author(s):

Rosanna Hertz

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195179903.003.0020

This chapter introduces Part III of the book. Women who have managed to free themselves from the social norms of married motherhood have done so as reluctant revolutionaries. They did not set out to break new ground, but wanting a child before time ran out took precedence over following tradition. They relieve themselves of the burden of chasing marriage, only to be shouldered with the new trials of single motherhood. Today, women can be single mothers as an alternative to the nuclear family, with one catch: making this choice means making a promise to stay below the radar. That is to say, as long as they and not the government finance their motherhood; as long as they make their children fit society, not force society to fit their children; and as long as they reshape their individual jobs, not the workplace as a whole, they can be single mothers.

Keywords:   single mother, child-bearing, marriage, nuclear family, motherhood norms

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