Volume 14, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1387-6740
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9935
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Lone motherhood tends to be viewed as something a woman is, an identity that defines the woman. This article takes a different route into lone motherhood by focusing on identity construction in the life stories of four Finnish lone mothers. Faced with dominant narratives that define lone motherhood in negative terms, the narrators construct a counter-normative account of their lone motherhood through a dialogue with different cultural narratives on motherhood, independence and family. Furthermore, the social category of lone motherhood is not one that the lone mothers themselves adopt in their narrative constructions of the self. Instead, they attempt to create space for themselves within the normative narratives on motherhood and womanhood, thus refuting the idea that lone motherhood is constitutive of identity. At the same time, the life stories reveal how powerful the cultural narratives on motherhood and family are – lone mothers can challenge them, but they can never escape these narratives completely. (Lone Motherhood, Narrative Identity, Life Stories, Cultural Narratives)


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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