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Between “lone” and “solo”: Representations of single motherhood in Swedish newspapers
Högskolan i Borås, Akademin för bibliotek, information, pedagogik och IT. (PAUS)ORCID-id: 0000-0002-6357-6491
Uppsala universitet.
2018 (engelsk)Konferansepaper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Fagfellevurdert)
Abstract [en]

In Sweden the public and political debate on lone mothers (Sv. ensamstående) has been more or less absent in the past 50 years. Due to available and subsidised childcare, most lone parents have paid employment, hence single mothers have not been depicted as moral and financial burdens on society. Furthermore, mainstream political discourses in Sweden favour the "gender neutral" term parent (förälder) over gendered terms like mother and father. Nonetheless, the single parent is strongly gendered statistically speaking, as the majority of children whose parents are separated reside exclusively or predominantly with the mother.

Although not politically stigmatized, single mothers as a statistical category face particular adversities. Swedish research focuses on general disadvantages in health and private economy for lone mothers compared to partnered families, representing the group as particularly vulnerable and in need ofsupport. Interview studies show a more varied picture, but often centre on the mothers' relation to the social services, and/or their strategies to provide financially for their families, adding to the image of lone motherhood as problematic. Thus, the research typically depicts the lone mother family as troubled.

The present paper analyses representations of single mothers in contemporary Sweden. It draws upon articles published in the four major daily newspapers, which are central in setting the national news agenda, hence impacting upon a Swedish "national imaginary". We focus on the years 2015-2017, a time characterized by high levels of single parenthood due to separation/divorce/never in relationship with other bio-parent, but also by dramatically increased migration as well as new legislation regarding single women's access to IVF treatment and what in English is sometimes termed "solo" motherhood. Given the growing ethnic diversity of the population, the growing visibility of sexual diversity and achieved rights for Lgbtq people, and the growing socioeconomic inequality in Sweden in the twenty- first century, we are interested in exploring what kinds of diversity we see in these representations in terms of class, sexuality and ethnicity. We investigate whether lone/single/solo mothers are represented as troubled or socially vulnerable, or whether other discourses of motherhood are activated in media representations. 

sted, utgiver, år, opplag, sider
2018.
HSV kategori
Identifikatorer
URN: urn:nbn:se:hb:diva-15651OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hb-15651DiVA, id: diva2:1277397
Konferanse
Close Relations: A multi- and interdisciplinary conference on critical family and kinship studies, Uppsala, October 24-26, 2018
Tilgjengelig fra: 2019-01-10 Laget: 2019-01-10 Sist oppdatert: 2019-01-14bibliografisk kontrollert

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RefereraExporteraLink to record
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  • sv-SE
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Utmatningsformat
  • html
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  • asciidoc
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