Thesis

The process of divorce: a woman's ongoing metamorphosis

This research explores the ongoing negotiation of identity in the post divorce process. In America, more than half of all marriages today end in divorce. While this is a subject that has been studied by many different academic disciplines and through varying approaches, this thesis adds considerably to the body of knowledge through its methodological use of autoethnography. This research examines the experience of one woman in the process of divorce and takes a sociological gaze into the social structures that influence and impact single mothers' lived experiences. The social construction of gender, mothering, and women's oppression are explored. Issues such as patriarchy, gender inequality, and mothering ideology are examined. The study reveals that single mothers must maneuver their way around male dominance while simultaneously managing the continual process of transforming "self." This research closely looks at how one woman makes sense of her experiences in traveling from married, stay-at-home mother and wife to divorced, single mother. This study reveals that divorce is a process, with no beginning or end. Rather, it is shown to be a continuous development whereby the single mother shifts and modifies her identity through her everyday interactions with others as well as through her internal dialogue with "self."

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