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Single by Chance, Mothers by Choice: How Women Are Choosing Parenthood Without Marriage and Creating the New American Family

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Single by Chance, Mothers by Choice: How Women Are Choosing Parenthood Without Marriage and Creating the New American Family Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A remarkable number of women today are taking the daunting step of having children outside of marriage. In Single By Chance, Mothers By Choice, Rosanna Hertz offers the first full-scale account of this fast-growing phenomenon, revealing why these middle class women took this unorthodox path and how they have managed to make single parenthood work for them.

Hertz interviewed 65 women--ranging from physicians and financial analysts to social workers, teachers, and secretaries--women who speak candidly about how they manage their lives and families as single mothers. What Hertz discovers are not ideologues but reluctant revolutionaries, women who--whether straight or gay--struggle to conform to the conventional definitions of mother, child, and family. Having tossed out the rulebook in order to become mothers, they nonetheless adhere to time-honored rules about child-rearing. As they tell their stories, they shed light on their paths to motherhood, describing how they summoned up the courage to pursue their dream, how they broke the news to parents, siblings, friends, and co-workers, how they went about buying sperm from fertility banks or adopting children of different races. They recount how their personal and social histories intersected to enable them to pursue their dream of motherhood, and how they navigate daily life. What does it mean to be 'single' in terms of romance and parenting? How do women juggle earning a paycheck with parenting? What creative ways have women devised to shore up these families? How do they incorporate men into their child-centered families? This book provides concrete, informative answers to all these questions.

A unique window on the future of the family, this book offers a gold mine of insight and reassurance for any woman contemplating this rewarding if unconventional step.

Synopsis:

A remarkable number of women today are taking the daunting step of having children outside of marriage. In Single By Chance, Mothers By Choice, Rosanna Hertz offers the first full-scale account of this fast-growing phenomenon, revealing why these middle-class women took this unorthodox path and how they have managed to make single parenthood work for them. Hertz interviewed 65 women--ranging from physicians and financial analysts to social workers, teachers, and secretaries--women who speak candidly about how they manage their lives and families as single mothers. What Hertz discovers are not ideologues but reluctant revolutionaries, women who--whether straight or gay--struggle to conform to the conventional definitions of mother, child, and family. Having tossed out the rulebook in order to become mothers, they nonetheless adhere to time-honored rules about child-rearing. As they tell their stories, they shed light on their paths to motherhood. A unique window on the future of the family, this book offers a gold mine of insight and reassurance for any woman contemplating this rewarding if unconventional step.

About the Author

Rosanna Hertz is Luella LaMer Professor of Sociology and Women's Studies and Chair of the Women's Studies Department at Wellesley College. The author of the widely acclaimed More Equal Than Others, she is frequently interviewed by national print media on issues related to women, work, and the family.

Table of Contents

Prologue

Acknowledgements

Introduction

Part I: The Big Decision

1. "Why Can't I have What I Want?"

2. Liminality and the Courage to Change: Making the Decision to Become a Single Mother

3. Moving On: When Baby Makes Two

Part II: After Baby, Now What?

Introduction: Where Do We Fit?"

4. The Father As An Idea

5. Romance, Intimacy, and Pregnancy: Father Involvement Outside of Marriage

6. Adoption and Fitting In

Conclusion: Ordinary Lives, Extraordinary Circumstances

Part III: Composing a Family

Introduction: Recycling and Reconstituting Families

7. What Does Single Mean?

8. Downshifting Careers While Financing Motherhood: Relying on the Gift-Giver, the Roommate, and the Careworker

9. A World Without Men, Amen?

Conclusion: Projecting Single Mothers Into the Future

Epilogue: Completing Families, Completing Lives

Appendix 1: Demographic Appendix: Featured Women

Appendix 2: Methods and Sampling

Notes

References

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780195341409
Author:
Hertz, Rosanna
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Author:
null, Rosanna
Subject:
Sociology - Marriage & Family
Subject:
Women's Studies - General
Subject:
Alternative Family
Subject:
Family -- United States.
Subject:
Single mothers -- United States.
Subject:
Sociology | Marriage
Subject:
Family
Subject:
Sociology-Children and Family
Subject:
Motherhood
Publication Date:
20080831
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
304
Dimensions:
8.92x5.82x.78 in. .91 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Business » Marketing
Health and Self-Help » Child Care and Parenting » Mothering
Health and Self-Help » Child Care and Parenting » Single Parenting
Health and Self-Help » Health and Medicine » Medical Specialties
Health and Self-Help » Psychology » General
Health and Self-Help » Self-Help » General
History and Social Science » Gender Studies » Womens Studies
History and Social Science » Sociology » Children and Family

Single by Chance, Mothers by Choice: How Women Are Choosing Parenthood Without Marriage and Creating the New American Family New Trade Paper
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Product details 304 pages Oxford University Press, USA - English 9780195341409 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , A remarkable number of women today are taking the daunting step of having children outside of marriage. In Single By Chance, Mothers By Choice, Rosanna Hertz offers the first full-scale account of this fast-growing phenomenon, revealing why these middle-class women took this unorthodox path and how they have managed to make single parenthood work for them. Hertz interviewed 65 women--ranging from physicians and financial analysts to social workers, teachers, and secretaries--women who speak candidly about how they manage their lives and families as single mothers. What Hertz discovers are not ideologues but reluctant revolutionaries, women who--whether straight or gay--struggle to conform to the conventional definitions of mother, child, and family. Having tossed out the rulebook in order to become mothers, they nonetheless adhere to time-honored rules about child-rearing. As they tell their stories, they shed light on their paths to motherhood. A unique window on the future of the family, this book offers a gold mine of insight and reassurance for any woman contemplating this rewarding if unconventional step.

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