Unsung heroines single mothers and the american dream

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unsung heroines single mothers and the american dream

Unsung Heroines: Single Mothers and the American Dream by Ruth Sidel

This compelling book destroys the derogatory images of single mothers that too often prevail in the media and in politics by creating a rich, moving, multidimensional picture of who these women really are. Ruth Sidel interviewed mothers from diverse races, ethnicities, religions, and social classes who became single through divorce, separation, widowhood, or who never married; none had planned to raise children on their own. Weaving together these women’s voices with an accessible, cutting-edge sociological and political analysis of single motherhood today, Unsung Heroines introduces a resilient, resourceful, and courageous population of women committed to their families, holding fast to quintessential American values, and creating positive new lives for themselves and their children. What emerges from this penetrating study is a clear message about what all families—two-parent as well as single parent—must have to succeed: decent jobs at a living wage, comprehensive health care, and preschool and after-school care. In a final chapter, Sidel gives a broad political-economic analysis that provides historical background on the way American social policy has evolved and compares the situation in the U.S. to the social policies and ideologies of other countries.
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Applying intervention to a case study

Unsung Heroines: Single Mothers and the American Dream

Observing that single mothers embody the best American values—"courage, determination, commitment to others, and independence of spirit"—sociologist Sidel contends that "rather than being stigmatized, they should be celebrated and indeed applauded. They recount the different paths that led them to single motherhood, their struggles to provide for their children, and their own feelings of loss of income, self-esteem, emotional and social support, youth, etc. They describe the steps they took to turn their lives around and recall the forces people, institutions and faith that aided and sometimes thwarted them. Sidel looks back at the different male and female responses "to intimate heterosexual relationships and to the enormous responsibility of caring for children" and forward to an agenda that would recognize that "the well-being of children and their families is the responsibility not only of the families themselves but of government at all levels and of civil society as well. View Full Version of PW.

By definition, of course, we believe the person with a stigma is not quite human. On this assumption we exercise varieties of discrimination, through which we effectively, if often unthinkingly, reduce his life chances. Erving Goffman , Stigma. Single motherhood is synonymous with deviant motherhood. I was raised by a single parent.

The denigration and demonization of single mothers has deep roots in American culture. Mothers without husbands have been looked upon with suspicion and hostility since the time of the earliest settlers. The recent period of intensified concern about single motherhood was spurred by the ascendancy of conservative ideology in the United States as marked by the election of Ronald Reagan as president. Rapid social change during the s and s—increasing numbers of single mothers, especially women having children outside marriage; a significant increase in teenage pregnancy and birth; a continuing high divorce rate; and fundamental changes in the roles and status of women—contributed to the anxiety about social issues. An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.

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This compelling book destroys the derogatory images of single mothers that too often prevail in the media and in politics by creating a rich, moving, multidimensional picture of who these women really are. Ruth Sidel interviewed mothers from diverse races, ethnicities, religions, and social classes who became single through divorce, separation, widowhood, or who never married; none had planned to raise children on their own. What emerges from this penetrating study is a clear message about what all families—two-parent as well as single parent—must have to succeed: decent jobs at a living wage, comprehensive health care, and preschool and after-school care. In a final chapter, Sidel gives a broad political-economic analysis that provides historical background on the way American social policy has evolved and compares the situation in the U. Acknowledgments Introduction 1. Moving Beyond Stigma 2. Genuine Family Values 3.

Back to Book Reviews Back to Cercles. Berkeley: University of California Press, ISBN Reviewed by Diana Dominguez. No doubt, most Americans if not the rest of the world have been exposed to the prevailing stereotype of single mothers: poor, young, uneducated, irresponsible, promiscuous; blamed equally for the drain on social services and the breakdown of the family. Ruth Sidel's book, Unsung Heroines: Single Mothers and the American Dream , is an important attempt to dispel that pervasive image by presenting personal stories of single mothers who defy that stereotype.

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5 COMMENTS

  1. Lyragotvers says:

    The denigration and demonization of single mothers has deep roots in American culture. Mothers without husbands have been looked upon with suspicion and.

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    Unsung Heroines by Ruth Sidel - Paperback - University of California Press

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