Single Mother: The Emergence of the Domestic Intellectual

Single Mother: The Emergence of the Domestic Intellectual

by Jane Juffer
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0814742793

ISBN-13: 9780814742792

Pub. Date: 04/28/2006

Publisher: New York University Press

Long perceived as the ultimate symbol of social breakdown and sexual irresponsibility, the single mother is now, in the context of welfare-to-work policies, often hailed as the new spokesperson for hard work and self-sufficiency. A dozen years after Dan Quayle denounced the television character Murphy Brown for making the decision to become a single mother

Overview

Long perceived as the ultimate symbol of social breakdown and sexual irresponsibility, the single mother is now, in the context of welfare-to-work policies, often hailed as the new spokesperson for hard work and self-sufficiency. A dozen years after Dan Quayle denounced the television character Murphy Brown for making the decision to become a single mother “just another lifestyle choice,” President George W. Bush applauded single mothers for “heroic work,” and positive on-screen representations of single mothers abound, from The Gilmore Girls to Sex and the City to American Idol.

Single Mother describes the recent cultural valorization of this figure that—in the midst of demographic changes in the U.S.—has emerged as the unlikely heroic and seductive voice of the new American family. Drawing on her own life as a single mother, interviews with dozens of other single mothers, cultural representations, and policies on welfare, immigration, childcare, and child custody, Juffer analyzes this contingent acceptance of single mothers. Finally, critiquing the relentless emphasis on self-sufficiency to the exclusion of community, Juffer shows the remarkable organizing skills of these new mothers of invention. At a moment when one-third of all babies are born to single moms, Single Mother is a fascinating and necessary examination of these new “domestic intellectuals.”

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780814742792
Publisher:
New York University Press
Publication date:
04/28/2006
Pages:
267
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 9.00(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsix
Introduction: Domestic Intellectuals: Freedom and the Single Mom1
Part IKeyword: Everyday Life35
1Representing the Single Mom (and Watching TV with Alex)45
Part IIKeyword: Spaces77
2The Corporate University85
3The U.S.-Mexican Border112
4Puerto Rican Chicago144
Part IIIKeyword: Ethics167
5Mothers and Sons173
6Choice206
Conclusion: From Identity Politics to Human Rights237
Notes243
Works Cited249
Index259
About the Author267

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