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Lone but not alone?: lone mothers’ need of social support networks in order to attain work-family balance
Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences. (Sociologi, Familj och nära relationer)ORCID iD: 0000-0002-8068-2667
2015 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation with published abstract (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In this paper I explore the meaning of social support networks for lone mothers in Sweden. Drawing on 39 in-depth interviews with Swedish lone mothers from different social backgrounds the paper discusses questions like: How does family and friends support lone mothers in their everyday lives? In what ways does access to social support networks facilitate or constrain lone mothers’ ability to reconcile paid work and caring responsibilities? Inspired by theories on reciprocity the paper also discusses the underlying premises for different kinds of support. The results show the support from kin, family and friends were vital in mediating work-family conflict among the mothers. Not least the mothers own mothers were the most important helpers. In addition the middle class mothers got more regular help than working class mothers. This is in line with previous research indicating that higher educated people get and receive more support. The findings are striking since family policies in Sweden has aimed at facilitating parent’s combination of work and family not least by offering a low cost and high quality childcare. Working long hours and/or unsocial hours as well as a high workload however meant that informal support was extremely important. For the ones lacking access to social support networks everyday life as a working single mother was very difficult.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015.
National Category
Sociology
Research subject
Sociology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-46132OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-46132DiVA: diva2:861277
Conference
12th Conference of the European Sociological Association (ESA), Prague, Czech Republic, August 25-28, 2015
Funder
Swedish Research Council, 344-2011-5462
Available from: 2015-10-16 Created: 2015-10-16 Last updated: 2017-10-17Bibliographically approved

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Alsarve, Jenny
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CiteExportLink to record
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Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf