Negotiating Matriarchy: The Discourse Of Single Mothers Taking Care Of Their Families On Small Incomes
Redman, Tonya Janiece
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This study used ten in-depth interviews with single mothers on small incomes to analyze for discursive themes. Three theoretical frameworks of Symbolic Interactionism, Presentation of Self and Cognitive Dissonance were used to guide this analysis. The discourse of these mothers found a matriarchal framework with four discursive themes of centrality, solidarity, moral economy, and support. Centrality refers to the way these single mothers position themselves as provider, protector and nurturer. The theme of Solidarity refers to how mothers viewed their relationships with their children. Discursive matriarchy is characterized by a moral economy that emphasizes spending time and paying attention. Support refers to ways that mothers enlist the help of others to provide for their families.